JICA has been providing technical cooperation on environmental issues in many developing countries, and among these, it was in Thailand that Japan started its cooperation in earnest, as the country's rapid urbanization and industrialization from the 1960s brought serious environmental problems in exchange for economic development. From this early stage when pollution is becoming more serious, however, it is considered that Thailand lacked all the elements necessary to solve environmental problems, including legal systems, technology, human resources, and funds. It was under these circumstances that in the early 1980s, Dr. Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, who later became known as the "mother of Japan-Thailand environmental cooperation," came to Japan as a JICA trainee. Her enthusiasm for environmental cooperation between Japan and Thailand was sparked by her visits to various Japanese institutions, including the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Ministry of Environment and local governments where she gained knowledge, leading to the start of environmental cooperation between the two countries.
JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development has published the "Project History" book series, which looks back on JICA's projects, analyzing and summarizing their trajectories and achievements. As the 29th volume in this series, "Japan-Thailand Environmental Cooperation: 35 Years of People-to-People Ties" has been published. This book introduces the history of Japan-Thailand environmental cooperation, focusing on people-to-people ties and summarizing the growth of both the Japanese and Thai parties involved. Fukuda, Seki and Watanabe, three former JICA experts who wrote the book, emphasize that "it is the relationship of trust between people that determines the success or failure of a project. The humanistic activities of these "old generation experts," who do not fit into the framework of project evaluation, provide us with a great deal of insight into the nature of development cooperation.
On May 31, 2022, a seminar will be held to commemorate the publication of the book. After an introduction of the book by a representative of the book's author group, a panel discussion by various stakeholders and a roundtable discussion with young experts will be held on the theme of building, maintaining, and passing on trust in international cooperation.
■Opening Remarks: Takahara Akio, Executive Director, JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development
■Book Introduction: Fukuda Munehiro, Author
■Panel Discussion: "Sharing and Passing on Trust: Perspectives from Various Stakeholders" (Language: Japanese)
-Adachi Ichiro, Research Fellow, JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development
-Seki Soichiro, Author/ President, The Japan Industrial Waste Information Center
-Tanaka Hideho, Sub-manager, Osaka Prefectural Corporation for Agricultural Land Development and Greenery-Environment Promotion
-Kadokami Kiwao, Guest Researcher/ Emeritus Professor, The University of Kitakyushu, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology
■Round-table: "Building Trust in Japan-Thailand Environmental Cooperation: Young Experts’ Perspective" (Language: English)
-Otsuka Takahiro, Deputy Director, Water Resources Group, JICA Global Environment Department,
-Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, the First Director of Environmental Research and Training Center (ERTC), former Director General of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, former Director General of the Pollution Control Department, and former Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand
-Decha Pimpisut, a counterpart of the JICA-Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Project, former Director of the Air Pollution Division, Department of Industrial Work.
-Takahashi Makoto, Team Leader, International Environment Division, EX Research Institute Ltd.
-Hishida Nozomi, Nippon Koei Co., Ltd.