Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Environment: Summarizing sustainability for future

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Recently, the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, held an “Open Week” conference with a wide range of activities and lectures. One of the highlights was a talk given by the eminent Korean environmentalist Professor Dai-Yeun Jeong, entitled “Beyond Sustainable Development: Towards Ecological Modernization”.

Supported by many visual aids projected onto a large screen, Professor Jeong gave a detailed and largely historical overview of environmental changes that have impacted our planet in the last two centuries. Starting with the onset of industrialization, he outlined the changes wrought by man in terms of pollution and damage to our fragile ecosystems. Improved standards of living were achieved, but at a huge cost: the sacrifice of nature and her self-regulating systems. The result? Local problems such as water and soil pollution: global issues such as climate change, ozone depletion, acid rain and eutrification.

As he constantly emphasized, “nature is our house” and needs solicitous management. In a startling statistic, Professor Jeong argued that the earth already needs to be three times as large in order to have the carrying capacity to cope with the escalating problems of waste, pollution and their concomitant effects. Korea, for example, a densely populated peninsula of over 50 million people, needs to be 9.5 times bigger. Put another way, the earth has two billion people it does not need.

The latter part of the two hour lecture was devoted to our growing awareness of Gaia’s plight and the twentieth century development of the notion of sustainable development. This concept argues that in order to sustain life on a planet with finite resources, and to preserve its natural heritage for future generations, human needs must be met without undermining the sustainability and the carrying capacity of organic systems. Such sustainable development should ideally involve the economic and social as well as environmental domains.

This initiative gained momentum in the 1970s. As a result, there are now many international organizations involved – including the United Nations. The “Rio Environmental Conference” in 1992 proposed a global action plan which would involve governments and big business as well as individuals. Both a top-down and bottom-up approach was required to address the leading issues of population expansion, crop production, waste disposal, natural disasters and so on. Recent initiatives have included “Fair Trade”, “Bird Friendly” and “The Rainforest Alliance”.

Counter arguments maintain that the very notion of sustainability is hopelessly impractical; that in a technologically driven world, the sacrifice of nature is inevitable, that population increases, energy requirements, the production of food and so on will make increasing demands on our planet. We just have to cope – somehow.

That is a doomsday scenario that environmentalists do not accept. Their view is that we must use both innovations in technology and enlightened economic and social policies to help us overcome these concerns. To extend Professor Jeong’s metaphor, our house is already on fire: we need to put it out – and quickly – before it is destroyed.

— Patrick Campbell


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand13 hours ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand13 hours ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand14 hours ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia16 hours ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather17 hours ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Myanmar18 hours ago

US judge orders Facebook to disclose anti-Rohingya content as part of international case against Myanmar

Tourism18 hours ago

Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 12,697 new cases and 132 deaths

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime4 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism6 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand5 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok4 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime2 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket5 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11