H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) assigned Mr. Athapol Charoenshunsa, Director General of Pollution Control Department (PCD) to be head of Thai delegation with relevant agencies to attend virtual meeting on “The Twenty-third Meeting of the Sub-Regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution (23rd MSC)” on 4 July 2022. The meeting was also attended by 1) H.E. Mr. Dato Haji Muesh Juanda Haji Abdul Rashid, Minister of Development, Brunei Darussalam, Negara, 2) H.E. Dr. Sati Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forests, Republic of Indonesia, 3) H.E. Mr. Dato Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Malaysia, and 4) H.E. Ms. Amy Kor, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment, Republic of Singapore. The result of the Twenty-third Meeting of the Technical Working Group on Transboundary Haze Pollution (23rd TWG) was adopted.
Mr. Athapol said that each country in the southern ASEAN region reported the preparation on transboundary haze pollution activities. In addition, Thailand reported that all activities have been prepared to prevent swamp forest fire and transboundary haze pollution in the southern part, including using the simulation of the 7-day air quality forecast during July to October 2022. Moreover, the meeting considered strategy for sustainable management of swamp forest fire in this region as well.
Mr. Athapol also said that the southern ASEAN region has its annual dry season from July to September which may cause swamp forest fire both inland and in Sumatra. This possibly leads to transboundary haze pollution in the southern part of Thailand and that southern region of ASEAN. PCD has held the meeting with MNRE agencies located in the southern part of Thailand to prepare for the particulate matter situation within country. In addition, H.E. Mr. Varawut gave the policy to all agencies to develop workplan and collaborate in fully implementing preventive measures and solving problems, in order to achieve integrative working with various agencies, especially to enhance people’s understanding and build the network for swamp forest fire surveillance and impact prevention on health and tourism.