Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand’s DeputyPrime Minister and Social Development and Human Security Minister PaiboonWattanasiritham said Monday that long-term solutions are needed to tackle foresthaze, although emergency measures can be temporarily imposed in provincesaffected by hazardous smog.
After only a few days of improved weather, smog and dust-particle levels haveagain risen severely in the northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, andMae Hong Son beginning Sunday.
The situation indicates that the haze problem remains and still needsimmediate responses, Mr. Paiboon said, adding that all agencies concerns willcontinue working together to resolve the problem until the situation improves.
He said the forest haze choking the northern provinces at present has stemmedfrom both natural and human causes, and can reoccur every year.
Therefore, he said, long-term measures need to be sought to prevent andresolve the problem.
As immediate solutions, the deputy premier said, areas heavily-affected bythe haze can be declared environmental disaster zones by governors who have fullauthority to use measures and mobilise resources they deem necessary.
Mr. Paiboon said the Thai authorities are coordinating haze solutions withneighbouring countries, Myanmar and Laos, which are also encountering the hazeproblem.
Air quality measurements at a school in Chiang Mai found that the level ofsmog and dust particles stood as high as 159 microgrammes per cubic metre (mpcm)Monday, higher than the acceptable level of 120 mpcm.
In nearby Lampang, although smoke and haze is not higher than the acceptablelevel, the province has advised residents to exercise caution over haze-relatedillnesses as smog can increase due to forest haze from neighbouring countries.