In a recent nationwide survey, Thais were asked to choose their "Top 5 Public Concerns". Environment was chosen by 38% of those surveyed. Concerns are highest among older Thais, women, and those living in Greater Bangkok.
The economy, unemployment, and rising prices were the next most important concern chosen by around one-third of Thais, and especially women and younger Thais. Corruption, crime, and moral decline were chosen by more than 20% of Thais. These concerns mirror UN Sustainable Development Goals of 'Responsible Consumption', 'Climate Action', 'Decent Work and Economic Growth', and 'Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions' and stand out from others as a key focus of people across Thailand.
Environmental issues are impacting quality of life and Thais see the problem as getting worse. Almost 6 out of 10 believe its impacting on the quality of their life in a big way and almost half of Thais believe it's only going to get worse in the next 5 years. When asked which are the most important environmental problems, global warming and air pollution are the biggest concern, with Bangkok residents more likely to mention traffic congestion as well.
While Thais claim to have taken steps to address the environmental concerns, there is still a lot to be done to see significant behavioural changes. Less than half of those interviewed are actively changing their behaviour to help with the environment, with the common to use more reusable bags or containers. Other frequent changes are stopping purchase of illegal forest products and reducing the use of energy consumption at home.
The survey was conducted by Marketbuzzz, in collaboration with Thammasat University School of Global Studies (SGS), in April 2021 before the Songkran holiday with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people. The Marketbuzzz team worked with graduate students from SGS to ensure the survey reflected the full range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The survey also explored the most pressing environmental issues in Thailand, and the role of government, industry and individual action to address these issues.
Commenting on the findings, Assistant Professor Dr. Prapaporn Tivayanond Mongkhonvanit, Dean of School of Global Studies at Thammasat University, said, "It is encouraging to see that the general public care about the importance of a sustainable environment for their future wellbeing. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are at the core of our curriculum, and a better understanding of the public's concerns helps us continue to focus on the priorities of the communities we serve".
Mr. Grant Bertoli, Marketbuzzz CEO added: "the importance of environmental issues is clear when you compare to all of the other concerns we are faced with today, and with so many believing it will get worse there is no denying that Thai people want more done to address the environmental concerns before it's too late".
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