On the 23rd and 24th May 2019 IREUS received a visit from a delegation from Thailand. They visited as part of their weeklong study visit to Germany, organised by GIZ as part of their Risk-based National Adaptation Plan project and Thai-German Climate Programme on Climate Finance and GCF Readiness.
On Thursday, 20 delegates visited IREUS, including experts and senior officials from the fields of environmental policy, spatial planning, public health and meteorology – all of whom are working on integrating climate change adaptation into their respective fields. The group included several partners who IREUS has been working with over the past year as part of the GIZ project to strengthen adaptive spatial planning processes through a pilot study in southern Thailand.
Thursday started with an introductory session at IREUS, including a presentation by Prof. Jörn Birkmann, IREUS researchers, Pochanie Kajonpredanon—the director of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning—and the dean of our faculty Prof. Harald Garrecht. We then visited the Verband Region Stuttgart, where we heard from landscape planning expert Silvia Weidenbacher and from Termsiri Chongpoonphol of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. There we had a lively discussion about regional planning, especially about mechanisms to protect green open space. The final stop of the day was at the Urban Climate Division of the City of Stuttgart where we heard from the head of the division, Rainer Kapp, and had an in-depth exchange, especially about urban climate data and urban air quality. The day finished off with some regional German cuisine.
On Friday, we were joined by senior officials and practitioners from the fields of finance, fiscal policy and banking who are working on the topic of climate finance in Thailand. The now larger group of 30 delegates spent the day in the City of Ludwigsburg where we heard from Charlotte Klose from Climate, Energy and Europe Division and Albrecht Burkhardt from the Urban Planning Division about climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that the city has been undertaking. Here there was also a good discussion, covering topics such as Ludwigsburg’s integrative and participatory planning processes and project funding mechanisms. We then visited their project “das Grüne Zimmer” and explored the city centre before taking a tour of a nearby nature reserve along the Neckar River.
The two days were packed with valuable insights and ideas about climate change adaptation. The Thai visitors, the IREUS researchers and the practitioners and experts from the Stuttgart Region all appreciated being able to share experiences and knowledge, and there was clearly a need for much more time for discussion. We look forward to a continued exchange and cooperation in the future.