IUCN reaches out to American companies in Thailand to join new business and biodiversity platform

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As part of its outreach efforts, IUCN Asia delivered a presentation about Thailand Thailand Bio-Diversity Network Alliance (B-DNA) to the Food and Agriculture Committee members of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Thailand, on Monday 22 July, in Bangkok.

Ann Moey, Head of Communications and Private Sector Focal Point, IUCN Asia, gave attendees a brief overview of IUCN and its Business and Biodiversity Programme, before introducing Thailand B-DNA, the country’s first-ever business and biodiversity platform.

Founded by IUCN and Toyota, Thailand B-DNA is a membership platform, which aims to strengthen the private sector’s role in nature conservation in Thailand, with a focus on biodiversity and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The platform also provides companies the opportunity to build their awareness and capacity for sustainability, and to network and collaborate on conservation projects across Thailand. The platform’s priority for the next few years is to help businesses tackle plastic pollution. Close to 20 representatives from various organisations and companies, such as Tilleke & Gibbins International Ltd. AgriSource Co., Ltd. and Webster University joined the session. Deputy Director for AMCHAM Thailand, Sarawan, Dever, also attended the meeting and highlighted that plastic pollution is an important concern for AMCHAM members.

“In the next few months, Thailand B-DNA will be organising workshops to equip platform members with the knowledge and tools to embrace sustainability. We will also be organising a session specifically focusing on how and why companies should address plastic pollution in their operations,” said Ann during her presentation.

Ann Moey presents Thailand B-DNA to AMCHAM members ©  IUCN

Plastic pollution was a hot topic at the session with several attendees asking IUCN about what is being done to tackle the growing problem in Thailand.

Some of the projects that IUCN is implementing include the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities initiative (MARPLASTICCs) funded by Sida. and the ”Tackling marine plastics in Thailand: from community-based actions to policies’’ project funded by Coca Cola Foundation.

Implemented in five countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Thailand, and Viet Nam, MARPLASTICCs uses an integrated life-cycle approach which supports a global transition from a linear take-make-dispose model to a circular plastics economy. The private sector component of the project includes the development and use of a plastic footprint methodology that measures the volume and location of plastic released into the environment throughout their value chain, as well as identifying and prioritising actions to address plastic leakages.

While the MARPLASTICCs project focuses on tackling plastic pollution on the mainland, the ”Tackling marine plastics in Thailand: from community-based actions to policies’’ project aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution and change people’s behaviours about solid waste management in Koh Yao Yai, a popular tourist island.

At the policy level, IUCN is a technical partner of the “Public Private Partnership for Sustainable Plastic and Waste Management” initiative.

Discussions about marine plastic pollution after the presentation ©  IUCN

The American Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok has 21 Committees who drive the content for AMCHAM’s year-round programming, offering events ranging from small roundtable discussions to large cross-industry forums. The Food and Agriculture Committee’s mission is to represent the interests of organisations in the areas of food, agriculture and agri-business. The committee was particularly interested in learning more about Thailand B-DNA as agriculture and food sectors have large biodiversity footprints and high dependencies on biodiversity. To date, Thailand B-DNA has recruited 14 members, including AMCHAM member Dow Chemicals. Thailand B-DNA hopes that more American companies with a presence in Thailand will join the platform. Over the next few months, IUCN will continue meeting with and presenting Thailand B-DNA to other chambers of commerce and companies.