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Combating PM2.5 Dust Particles Included in the National Agenda

15 February 2019 (Readers 397)

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that the Government had proposed that efforts to tackle the problem of PM2.5 dust particles be included in the national agenda.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting on 12 February, the Prime Minister said that the proposal was intended to encourage relevant agencies to solve this problem on a sustainable basis. He stressed the need to continue to deal with the problem in Bangkok more effectively and seriously.

As for the provinces, the increased amount of dust particles has resulted mainly from the burning of agricultural wastes, such as sugar cane. In this regard, the Prime Minister called for public cooperation not to burn agricultural crops but to join forces in tackling dust particles on a sustainable basis.

Provincial governors in the North and Northeast, in particular, were instructed to step up efforts to control forest fires and issue measures to curb open-air burning in order to reduce haze. In industrial zones and large cities, especially Bangkok, measures have been laid down to ease traffic congestion, control black carbon emissions, and curb pollution at various construction sites.

On 12 February 2019, the Cabinet approved Thailand joining the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). It assigned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, through the Pollution Control Department, to serve as Thailands National Focal Point in the process of joining CCAC.

CCAC was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2012. It aims to catalyze rapid reductions in short-lived climate pollutants to protect human health, agriculture, and the environment.

Joining CCAC will enable Thailand to receive cooperation and benefits from its operations to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. This is also in line with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, and Paris Agreement, to which Thailand is one of the parties.

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