Application of integrated environmental management through the preparation of an environmental action programme: Case study from the Songkhla Lake Basin in southern Thailand
The concepts and principles for integrated environmental management (IEM), which is based on a strategic and participatory approach to environmental and regional planning, has been successfully applied to a large lake system in the southern region of Thailand. The application was achieved through the Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development funded project ‘Environmental Management in the Songkhla Lake Basin’ (EmSong Project) in the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning within the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Through the application of the methods and tools for IEM, including the use of a participatory and strategic planning approach, and the establishment of a comprehensive database and an integrated surface water model for the lake system, an environmental action programme (EAP) has been developed. This action programme, which is based on a broad consensus at the local and regional level, includes vision and mission statements, resource objectives and strategies for management from an economically and ecologically important lake system in Thailand. The operational part of the EAP is a project catalogue, which contains immediately needed projects described to an international pre-feasibility level. The former is the tangible output of the EmSong Project. A more intangible output from the EmSong Project is committed and informed local and regional government and community-based organizations.