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PCD : News

Thailand-Lao PDR-Myanmar Co-operation for Sharing Clean Air & Effort
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News date 03-Apr-2010

On March 29, 2010, Dr. med. Attasith Kanchanasinith, on behalf of the Thailand Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, led the ceremony marking the transfer of Mobile Air Quality Monitoring unit, which will be temporarily placed in the Republic of Myanmar. The Air Monitoring campaign is a part of Lao PDR - Myanmar - Thailand collaboration on the smoke haze management over the Mekong Sub-region, starting from this dry season.

On March 15, 2010, the other Mobile Air Quality Monitoring unit was transferred to Lao PDR, at Changwat Nong Khai, as the initial part of the campaign. Since then the mobile unit has now been collecting data on air quality at the Vangvieng meteorological station outside Vientiane.

Since the beginning of February 2010, the level of 24-hour average PM-10 values, as observed in Northern Thailand, has arisen dramatically. The daily average concentration has reached 518.5 Microgram/m3 in Maehongson on 18 March 2010. This level exceeds over 4 times of the Thailand National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM-10 (24-hour average must be under 120 Microgram/m3). The increase of PM-10 level was likely related to the increase of hotspots occurred in Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar. Currently, the three nations are strengthening the actions and measures among related agencies to control open burning, and are mobilizing resources such as fire brigades, airplanes and equipment to prevent and suppress fires in the critical areas.

The monitoring data, therefore, will be useful for the countries in drawing a joint policy and planning for controlling the fire and haze with reference to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in hoping to ameliorate the annual occurrence of smoke haze during the dry season within the region.

Contact : Vanisa Surapipith (vanisa(dot)s(at)pcd(dot)go(dot)th)