by Justin Henceroth, Research Associate
Provincial officials, city leaders, community members, and representatives from a range of stakeholder groups met in Patong earlier this week to learn about intervention projects conducted in Phuket under Mekong-Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities (M-BRACE) and to discuss how the outcomes and lessons learned in these projects can help Phuket better address key challenges related to development, urbanization, and climate change.
The three projects included a range of activities such as the construction of a new meteorological monitoring station in Patong, the development of climate change and environment classes for schools, capacity building in stakeholder engagement, and a youth short film competition. These projects were designed to address key challenges and weaknesses identified in the M-BRACE vulnerability assessment. As part of the discussion, participants discussed how they could modify and improve existing governance and management processes to incorporate the successful outcomes and ways of working from these projects. One mechanism to build on M-BRACE is already underway; stakeholders also participated in a dialogue with the US Army Corps of Engineers to outline how to utilize shared vision planning and modeling to better address water resource management on the island.
After four years of work in Phuket, M-BRACE, which is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and overseen by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET) in partnership with Thailand Environment Institute, has, in the words of one stakeholder, “helped Phuket identify and discuss issues in ways that address the underlying causes such as land-use change and urbanization.”