Thai activists sue the government for insufficient activity against PM2.5 pollution

Thai activists sue the government for insufficient activity against PM2.5 pollution

Representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) and environmental advocates filed a lawsuit against three Thai public departments on March 22. They did so after a joint...

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Environmental Experts Investigate the Toxic E-waste Dump in Kalasin

Environmental Experts Investigate the Toxic E-waste Dump in Kalasin

An international team of experts investigate the industrial hot spots in Khok Sa-ad sub district, Kalasin province. The area is infamous for Thailand’s largest e-waste dump,...

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Kalasin – ‘Cleanly Hill’ in Thailand covered with tons of e-waste

Kalasin – ‘Cleanly Hill’ in Thailand covered with tons of e-waste

Refrigerator hulks and isolation, old TVs, metal scrap parts, and various sorts of plastic casking. All covered with acrid smoke and pungent stench from illegal burn-for-cash...

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Thailand

5Thailand has been suffering from industrial pollution for a long time, but it is not just a technical problem. In fact, corruption, poor law enforcement, and a lack of functional self-government play a more significant role. Residents and workers in polluted areas are often denied the right to participate in decision-making processes, being said that they are not technical experts in those fields. In other cases, citizens' complaints are rejected due to a lack of scientific evidence. The result is growing conflicts in many Thai communities, as well as long-term negative impacts on local health and the overall state of the surrounding environment.

We have been cooperating with the Thai non-profit organization EARTH for several years within the Toxics and Waste program. Our past activities have shown that simple research on industrial pollution of the environment can provide strong arguments and improve the overall bargaining power of Thai communities. They then find it easier to cooperate with government agencies and the polluters.

A scientific initiative for reducing industrial pollution

We help communities gather scientific evidence and raise awareness of the increasing damage to the environment and health from industrial development in Thailand. We focus on rural communities whose traditional livelihoods suffer from unregulated growth of industrial activity and who are often afraid to oppose polluters, mainly due to corruption or threats. We try to assist in enforcing the right to environmental information using tools known in the Czech Republic and the European Union, primarily through the initiative of public participation in decision-making.

In November 2017 in Bangkok, Arnika unveiled the conclusions of a two-year POPs study: POPs at Four Thai Hot-spots: Map Ta Phut, Samut Sakhon, Tha Tum, and Khon KaenChicken Eggs as an Indicator of POPs Pollution in Thailand

Monitoring of hot spots

We advocate for the creation of a so-called “Pollution Monitoring Volunteer Network” composed of residents and workers living in polluted localities. We supply affected residents and workers with technical equipment and information that allows them to monitor chemical pollution. We educate communities about the properties of chemical pollutants, as well as the so-called Best Available Technology and Best Environmental Practices.

Our activities in Thailand have been enabled thanks to the “Increasing Transparency in Industrial Pollution Management through Citizen Science” and “Public participation through citizen science and EIA system enhancement” projects funded by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program.

tha project