Towards Sustainable Hotel Waste Management in an Island of Tourism: The Case of Koh Samui, Thailand
Group Members: Radtasiri Wachirapunyanont, Le Thanh Hoai and Hoeung Sopheap
Faculty Advisor: Assistant Professor Joo Yu Min
Time: 2.00pm to 2.30pm
Waste management is a key challenge for an island that heavily relies on tourism, especially given its unique environment of a closed ecosystem. Koh Samui, one of the famous tourist destinations in Thailand, is not an exception. Hosting over 400 hotels, the island produces about 60,000 tons of wastes annually. Using Koh Samui as a case study, the project analyzed the waste management practices of its hotel sector and provided recommendations for more sustainable practices. The team conducted in-depth interviews with 13 hotel managers and owners, five municipality executives, Samui’s hotel human resource associations, and the United Nations Development Programme (Thailand), which is a key international player working on Zero Waste Hotel in Samui.
The research revealed a lack of awareness for sustainable waste management among small hotels, while the awareness is higher in medium and large hotels. Regardless of international or local ownership, the chain hotels tend to have their own internal policies that play a significant role in promoting sustainable waste management. Key recommendations include ways to (i) increase sustainability awareness in the hotels and customers, (ii) promote information accessibility on waste treatment facilities, and (iii) create knowledge sharing platform for hotels to share and learn successful policies from other implementers.
Building Disaster Resilience: A DRRM Agency Design for the Philippines
Group Members: Rey Uzhmar Caballegan Padit, Maria Isabel La'O Hernando, Than Min Htike, Rania Joie Marie Docena Joya, Aishath Rishmee, Yoshinori Makino
Client: World Bank
Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Eduardo Araral
Time: 2.40pm to 3.10pm
In his 2017 State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued a directive to create a new department-level institution on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM). Large-scale natural disasters have continuously tested — and exposed — the efficacy of the current disaster policy-making body of the country, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). The ad hoc council structure of the NDRRMC is insufficient in performing policy, coordination, and implementation functions necessary to actualize a holistic DRRM framework. However, the institutional framework and agency model most suitable for the country remains debated. Drawing from global best practices, critical analysis of existing systems from other countries, and in-depth interviews from stakeholders, this policy study proposes two organizational model designs. The first is a service-based model which follows the country’s standard administrative structure of planning, financial and management, administrative, and other services; and the second, a thematic-based model which is structured according to the four thematic areas of DRRM — mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Evaluation of the models was then made and the result suggested a thematic-based organizational setup as best model to facilitate the operationalization of the entire DRRM framework and guide the transition towards disaster resilience in the Philippines.
Understanding the Impact of Climate Change on Nutrition Security in Thailand
Group Members: Jin Guozhong, Pan Haiyi, Sivaprakasham Murugesan Saminathan
Client: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP)
Faculty Advisor: Professor Ramkishen Rajan
Time: 3.40pm to 4.10pm
Thailand is vulnerable to the threat of climate change, particularly through rising temperatures, floods, droughts and other extreme weather events. These events in turn affect the national efforts to eradicate hunger, reduce malnutrition, and promote sustainable development. Thailand has surpassed the Millennium Development Goal of reducing hunger by successfully reducing the undernourished population from 34.6% to 7.5% by 2015. However, to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, Thailand has to reduce malnutrition. Therefore, understanding the impact of climate change on nutrition is important to derive relevant policy implications. This project aimed to quantify the impact of temperature and rainfall on nutritional outcome based on provincial-level data from the National Statistical Office and the Office of Agricultural Economics of the Kingdom of Thailand. Policy recommendations are devised to support the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s technical assistance for nutrition security in Thailand.
The Humanitarian Landscape in the Next 5 Years: Assessing needs and identifying opportunities in Southeast Asia
Group Members: Athena Foo Zhihui, Tham Zhi Kang, Jansen, Jessica McInnes Lee, Gan Kwang Lee, Nisha Francine Rajoo, Erik Berge Hagen
Client: International Committee of the Red Cross
Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Francesco Mancini
Time: 4.20pm to 4.50pm
The 21st century has brought about a global awareness of the immense human cost of war. The conflicts of this era will not be defined by what is gained by the victors, but by what is lost by the victims. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an international organization backed by the Geneva Convention to promote humanitarian law and offer impartial aid in conflict zones worldwide. As conflicts evolve with shifts in international politics and advancements in technology, the ICRC must be prepared to answer the call for help when it is needed most. Southeast Asia has experienced great leaps in economic development, but the threat of conflict persists. To identify and address the ICRC’s challenges in the region, the team utilized primary and secondary sources representing a diverse set of perspectives to conduct a qualitative analysis of the organization and its humanitarian work. The study crafted detailed and practical recommendations on how the ICRC can rise to meet its challenges in Southeast Asia in the next five years.
Business Models on the Natural Conservation of Water
Group Members: Bharati Sekar, Azira Aziz, Benjamin Leong Zhi Wei, Lia Wulandari
Client: ASEAN CSR Network, Singapore
Faculty Advisor: Associate Professor Alfred Wu
Time: 5.00pm to 5.30pm
Water stewardship relies on managing fresh water resources at catchment-level through collaboration between stakeholders. This project examined challenges perceived by stakeholders in the Food and Beverage sector in the ASEAN region towards committing to voluntary stewardship initiatives. In-depth interviews with stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, civil society organizations and corporations, suggested the following recommendations: 1) Building a compelling business case for stewardship; 2) Stewardship initiatives incorporating customer-facing elements, such as rating systems, to drive demand for sustained shared resource management; 3) Increasing private-public sector cooperation and trust, through, for example, government support for technology transfers, involvement of formal/informal management institutions, and joint data collection and sharing of best practices between stakeholders. Additionally, the multiplicity of legal and regulatory requirements across jurisdictions and context-specific needs lead to varying degrees of corporate engagement with external stakeholders. CSR foundations and civil society can facilitate these relationships among stakeholders in a catchment area, as well as along the value chain.