Chonburi, Thailand — An ICM scaling up declaration ceremony was held in Pattaya City, Banglamung District, Chonburi Province on 23 January to welcome the participation of the municipalities of Nong Mai Daeng and Na Jom Tien into the Chonburi Integrated Coastal Management Program.
The addition of the municipalities brings to 24 the total number of local governments participating in the Chonburi ICM Program, including the Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization, Pattaya City, 17 municipalities and 5 subdistrict administrative organizations.Chonburi Province is the center for coastal tourism and economic development in the eastern region of Thailand. However, rapid and unregulated coastal development and urbanization in the past 20 years have posed threats to its ecological resources, cultural and traditional heritage, social security, economic growth and overall quality of life. Recognizing the need to address such threats, the Provincial Government of Chonburi, in collaboration with PEMSEA, established a demonstration project for ICM implementation in August 2001. Starting with five participating municipalities covering 18 percent of the provincial coastline, the ICM program now covers the entire 157-km provincial coastline, with a view to encouraging the participation of non-coastal municipalities as well.By signing the Declaration to participate in the ICM Program, Mr. Sompong Saynapha, Mayor of Na Jom Tiem, and Ms. Toungthip Phavasutchaiyakit, Mayor of Nong Mai Daeng Municipality, committed the two municipalities to apply the ICM framework and support the implementation of a sustainable coastal management program guided by the Chonburi Coastal Strategy and its implementation plan.Mr. Comsan Ekachai, Vice Governor of Chonburi Province and Chair of the Chonburi ICM Committee; Mr. Chatchai Thimkrajang, Mayor of Sriracha Municipality and Director of the ICM Program; and Mr. Ittipon Kunplome, Advisor for the Mayor of Pattaya City, co-signed the Declaration as witnesses. Governor Pracha Terat expressed his appreciation and commended all those who have contributed to the progress of ICM implementation in Chonburi.The signing ceremony was attended by members of the multiagency and cross-sectoral Chonburi ICM Coordinating Committee, participating local governments, relevant government agencies, and representatives from the academe, private sector, industry, nongovernmental organizations, communities, and the media.