Sustainable Development Policy is a policy that has been given a serious attention around the world. It is used side by side to define national strategies of various countries for different time scale, short-term, medium-term and long-term (UNFCCC, 2014; Laina, E., 2016; Savaresi, 2016). On the area of Environmental Law specifically, it is part of driving mechanisms to run such a policy for economic, social and environmental sustainability (Krapp, 2016; Uddin, M.K., 2017; Moore, P., Pereira, E.S., & Duggin, G., 2015). In order to make national development more sustainable, it requires a mutual coordination between the national management policy and legislation, especially integrating and incorporating Environment Law in order to achieve a long-run sustainability (Savaresi, 2012).
For Thailand, the main goal of sustainable development policy is to play a core role in creating sustainability, as stated in the constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560, with the say of government policy under Article 72. In addition, the government is given the role of managing the environment under Article 57, and protecting it under Article 58.
Furthermore, this version of the constitution provides a new provision to guarantee the rights of the people and community toward the environment under Article 43, as well as grant the right to charge the government or government agencies with the responsibility for protecting the environment under Article 41. While the National Environmental Quality Promotion and Preservation Act (Version 2) B.E. 2561 comes with a significant focus on the formulation of environmental protection policies, as follows:
From 1990 to now (2019), Thailand has worked to increase the simultaneous growth of the economy, society, and the environment to support a national policy and strategic planning for sustainability. In this instance, Thailand has achieved a continuous growth rate in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Concil (NESDC), 2020) through a massive promotion of internal income generation and foreign investments to Thailand. This includes continuously investing in various industrial projects, boosting expert activities, joint ventures in key local industries with foreign countries, providing tax incentives for foreign-based manufacturers as well as promoting a tourism industry (National Statistic Office Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, 2020).
In the implementation of social policies, Thailand has strived to create social development policies to continuously increase its growth rate, where the government plays a vital role in the formation of such policies. These policies cover the promotion of employment by a reduction in the unemployment rate, a protection policy in health and illness, a social security policy and its monitoring, and a customer protection policy with its quarterly assessment (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Concil (NESDC), 2020). However, the implementation of those policies is seen to have been effective and efficient since 1990 until recent times. As of the present (2019), the social growth rate has had a positive development in the same way that the economic development has (Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization, 2020).
Nevertheless, boosting economic and social development has changed the environment at the same. There is evidence that from 1990 to 2019, greenhouse gases emission has increased steadily. In particular, CO2 emissions have risen across all sectors, but especially in the electronic, transportation, and industrial sectors, producing a 92.5% increase in greenhouse gases emission (2019) since 1990 (Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization, 2020).
As of the environmental aspect of Thailand, it is found that the rapid economic growth of Thailand causes various environmental issues. Thailand is experiencing climate problems, decreasing wildlife populations, deforestation, soil erosion, water shortage and waste. According to the 2004 data indication, the national expense on air and water pollution had increased to around 1.6 to 2.6 percent of the GDP each year. Therefore, the economic growth of Thailand comes as a cause to wider damages including the people and environment, as what can be noticed. However, the implementation of the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2017-2021) signals that “At present, the country's natural resources and environmental quality are dropping and become a weakness in maintaining the fundamentals of sustainable production, service and livelihood. Many natural resources are used for development, resulting in continuous disruption with a threatening on the forest and biodiversity to the edge” (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Concil (NESDC), 2020).