H.E. General Surasak Karnjanarat (Ret.) was appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand in 2015. Prior to this appointment, he was Minister of Labor from 2014-2015. General Surasak graduated from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, Army Command and General Staff College, National Defence College. He started his career as an Army officer and prior to his retirement held various roles at the Ministry of Defence, including Battalion Commander, Director of the Directorate of Civil Affairs, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence. As Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, he has integrated environmental issues into Thailand’s National Strategy, and National Reform Plans. These plans aim to maintain security and create a balance between conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources in Thailand. Thailand assumed the chair of ASEAN in 2019 and General Surasak has worked to boost collaboration among ASEAN Member States to tackle marine plastic pollution in the ASEAN region. He convened a Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris to provide a platform to explore and pursue concrete actions on combating marine pollution.