Green jobs

Capacity Building and Knowledge Tour on Green Jobs and Just Transition for Government and Farmer Communities in Thailand

With a focus on transition toward sustainable agriculture, ILO worked with local government's representatives and stakeholders in Chiang Mai to enhance their awareness and understanding of Green Jobs and Just Transition.

News | Chiang Mai, Thailand | 07 December 2022
Green jobs knowledge tour in Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai, Thailand. © ILO/W. Sittirin
CHIANG MAI, Thailand (ILO News) – Representatives from the Local Government in Chiang Mai, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) as well as farmer communities actively participated in a Green Jobs (GJs) and Just Transition (JT) capacity building workshop, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to promote the sustainable agriculture through institutional strengthening and social dialogue, on 24 November.

Under discussion were the ILO Decent Work standards and ILO Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all.

The concepts of green jobs (GJs) and a Just Transition (JT) to environmental sustainability play an important role in the process of green economic policy development. Thailand’s economy is shifting towards a greener economy to enhance the potential for realizing sustainable development objectives. However, without the development of its labour force through suitable and up to date job skills, greening becomes difficult to achieve.

“The UN secretary gave attention to the Green Jobs, green skills and a Just Transition which are part of the green economy”, said Suwimol Wattanawiroon, PAGE Thailand National Coordinator. “Young farmers in Chiang Mai have been very successful in implementing organic agriculture”, added Nittayaporn Wiangtong, Skill Development Technical Officer at the Chiang Mai Institute for Skills Development.

The transition to more sustainable agriculture can deliver more employment opportunities and better working conditions. Sustainable agriculture for small-scale farmers in Thailand means an agricultural system that will lead farmers to self-sufficiency and provides for ecological balance in farming communities.

Eric Roeder, Technical Specialist on Green Jobs, Climate Action and Resilience through Just Transition - Asia Pacific Region, said: “Chiang Mai could be a hub of organic sustainable agriculture but real issue for implementation is how to scale up and how to increase awareness. The policy and regulations could be simultaneously supportive and/or become barriers for sustainable development. So, we need to ensure that policies lead to implementation rather than become the challenges. However, small-scale organic farming in Mae Chaem would be an excellent way to move forward.”

“Asia’s large potential to create green jobs and Thailand’s decent environmental performance compared to other Asia Pacific countries gives Thailand opportunity to create many green jobs, particularly in the agri-forestry and fishing sectors”, said Samantha Sharpe, ILO knowledge partner, Associate Professor, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.

A few challenges with Thailand’s greening policies, including the lack of clear green jobs definitions, low representation of civil society and trade unions in social dialogue, and the lack of analysis of employment impacts of greening, were discussed at the workshop. Wasana Sittirin, ILO Consultant for PAGE Thailand, highlighted recommendations, including raising awareness of green jobs and just transition, better coordination mechanisms to implement the SDGs, and more financial support for green technologies, while presenting the findings of Thailand’s Green Jobs and Just Transition policy readiness assessment with a case study in Chiang Mai, based on one of the six in-depth funded government recovery programmes.

In the discussions during the Knowledge Tour on Green Jobs and Just Transition between 25 - 26 November, Somchai Yungsantiwong, the village head in Pang Hin Fon sub-district, Mea Chaem, emphasized that bottom-up approaches with the participation of the local community in development initiatives would lead to development with a higher degree of sustainability. Green agriculture should be included in the policies and plans to increase production of farm-based environmental goods and services as well as to create green jobs.
Successful organic farming requires a wealth of knowledge about the operation and processing of agricultural production. Mountain farming faces difficulties in transporting agricultural products to the city, which has led to the market channel challenge to deliver crop production to the markets. Therefore, the government should support organic farming market, marketing skills training and knowledge of a green and inclusive agriculture in order to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture, added Wittaya Jenjitsanti, the village head in Kkong Khak sub-district.

“A strong community-based enterprise group for sustainable agriculture can be created when the group of farmers receive financial support. Understanding in organic farming would increase income and food security for the communities, be good for health and protection of the local environment”, said Sumpol Kawinan, farmer and chief of the community group in Mae Pan San Keang.

Further information please contact:

Wasna Sittirin
ILO Consultant for PAGE Thailand

Eric Roeder

ILO Technical Specialist on Green Jobs, Climate Action and Resilience through Just Transition - Asia Pacific Region

Hongye Pei
ILO PAGE Asia Consultant