On December 6th, 2023, Ms. Traisulee Traisanakul, the Secretary to the Thai Minister of the Interior, publicly revealed policies for preventing and solving problems of forest fires, smog, and PM 2.5 smoke proposed by Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, to provincial governors.
During the cold drought season each year, Thailand has an ongoing problem of air pollution exceeding standards in many areas, especially in 17 provinces in the North and Bangkok areas.
Air pollution such as wildfires, smog, and PM 2.5 smoke, are due to both natural and human-made causes that cumulate dust particles in high density and affect the environment and the health of people.
Therefore, Anutin gave instructions to the Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Directorate to make use of technology to notify the public thoroughly and efficiently on air pollution problems. Relevant agencies with authorities involved must strictly enforce the law on industrial factories, transportation, and other related factors to control the air quality, said Traisulee.
Instead of burning agricultural waste, Anutin proposed a campaign to utilize them in value-added, carbon-free, processing, such as using microorganisms for decomposition and plowing.
Traisulee added that Anutin emphasized preparing responsive plans for various cases and updating the information in high-risk areas such as forests, agricultural areas, local communities, and resource information. The relevant teams must be stationed in assigned areas to patrol and deter illegal burning.
Lastly, proactive communication through various platforms would be a good source to inform locals about ongoing air pollution problems causing health problems and impacting the environment, and penalties for breaking the law, concluded Traisulee.
A prominent doctor who had fought for Thailand to resolve ongoing air pollution problems passed away recently at only 29 from cancer, leading to a renewed focus on stopping air pollution.