Health Impact Assessment towards Sustainable Community to Respond to Special Economic Zone in Songkhla, Thailand
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) brings positive and negative effects on economic, environmental, and social sustainability. This descriptive study sought to provide public policy transformation towards a sustainable and resilient community using Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to local and national decision-making processes for SEZ. The mixed methods were carried out quantitative and qualitative approaches to 521 participants using a questionnaire, in-depth interview, focus group discussion, and a literature study during January-October 2018. The results were revealed both in theoretical and practical aspects of public policies to prevent and reduce environmental risk factors affecting food, health, and human security as follows: 1) strengthen the mechanisms for information center, 2) create multisectoral cooperation teams and 3) build up the capacity of partners working in communities to preserve environmental, food, health, and human security. This proposed public policy came up with 5 main stakeholders' responsibilities to the local, i.e., regulator, owner, developer, operator or manager, and local people. These were expected to ensure that local and regional governments are recognized, engaged, resourced, and demonstrated their crucial role in transforming public policy into action towards SEZ. Therefore, these findings could contribute to Songkhla SEZ's best practices and implications for fostering social and environmentally sustainable development.
Keywords: special economic zone, health impact assessment, sustainability.
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