Rasmussen, Lars2; Bergendorff, Mads2; Jørgensen, Michael Søgaard3
1 Department of Technology and Social Sciences, Technical University of Denmark2 Technical University of Denmark3 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
The aim of the project was to gather knowledge about the environmental awareness of people in Paru Yai tambon, Khorat, Thailand. This is done through qualitative interviews and observations of two selected environmental problems - garbage management and electricity consumption in households.The acquired knowledge is used with supplementing findings about the local conditions to propose a strategy for sustainable development of the tambon, which can be used as the basis for a local Agenda 21 action plan for Paru Yai.A fundamental assumption of the project is the importance of environmental awareness in sustainable development, and the topic is approached with a local planning perspective thus including elements of participation, both in the case study and the proposed strategy.The case study shows that environmental awareness among people in Paru Yai in general is low but it also indicates a potential for improvements. It is concluded that the two environmental problems in this project are fundamentally too different to be able to support each other with mutual benefit regarding environmental awareness. Environmental awareness could be appropriate in solving local garbage problems for people in Paru Yai but it is not the most appropriate tool to reduce electricity use at present. Intelligent use of different measures must be provided as a comprehensive tool to initiate a local sustainable development in Paru Yai. Economic incentives can be used to provide a change on a short term and then improvement of environmental awareness as a long-term effect. This calls for a holistic planning on a local level and for Thailand as a whole.Furthermore it is concluded that a barrier to sustainable development in Paru Yai tambon is centralism, corruption, and lack of public participation in the local administration.The report is the result of a field study in Khorat, Thailand carried out from the middle of September to the middle of December 1998. It was made in connection with the “Thai-Danish Co-operation on Sustainable Energy” programme which is founded by the Danish NGO "Organisationen for Vedvarende Energi" (OVE) together with the Thai NGO "Appropriate Technology Association" (ATA). The aim of this programme is to promote sustainable energy as an appropriate alternative to the conventional energy sector development in Thailand.The field study was carried out within the framework of and supported financially by DUCED the university consortium between Danish universities and universities in Thailand, Malaysia and countries in the southern Africa. The aim of DUCED is to educate candidates familiar with development projects and with ability of problem solving cross-professionally and cross-cultural understanding.