India– Environment Ministry has formulated a contingency plan to deal with forest fires which have increased from 18,451 in 2013 to 20,667 in 2016, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said today.
“Environment Ministry has formulated a contingency plan for forest fires which deals with the mechanism for coordination during the crisis of a major forest fire.
“The said plan provides for a Central Crisis Group at the Ministry chaired by Secretary, and having representatives from Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Health in addition to other members,” he said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
The minister said the government provides funds to states and UTs under the Centrally sponsored scheme “Intensification of Forest Management Scheme” to supplement their efforts.
“Various measures taken by states and UTs for protection of forests from fires include creation and maintenance of fire lines in forest areas, engaging fire watchers, estabilishing forest camps, regular patrolling by forest personnels etc. The support of Joint Forest Management Committee is also taken in this regard,” Javadekar said.
According to the data provided by the ministry, there were 18451, 19054, 15937 and 20667 fires in 2013, 2014 2015 and 2016 respectively.The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) has joined hands with Chiang Mai University (CMU) to launch the Haze Free Thailand campaign, encouraging cooperation among related agencies to strengthen communities and dissipate haze conditions.
NRCTs Acting Secretary-General Sukunya Theerakullert today presided over the launching ceremony of Haze Free Thailand campaign held at Chiang Mai University.
She said that the haze disaster is a persisting issue which happens regularly while becoming more severe, especially during dry and still weather conditions which suspends airborne particulate matters in the air for a prolonged period of time, and thus amplifying the effect it has on the general public.
The haze situation has affected the transport, tourism, society, and the economy in the affected areas causing the number of tourists to drop while threatening the health of the general public who are forced to continue their daily lives under such an unhealthy environment, with heightened health risks to people with low immunity such as elders and children.
The NRCT acting secretary-general has said the NRCT and its network agencies have been supporting research that will help mitigate the haze disaster, and agreed to support large-scale project that will enhance cooperation between government agencies, private companies, and the local public to strengthen the affected communities under the name Haze Free Thailand.
The Haze Free Thailand project will be run by Chiang Mai University as the main responsible agency, due to the fact that the university is located in the affected area. The NRCT expects that this campaign will gradually help reduce the severity of the Kingdom’s haze issues in the future. – See more at: http://thainews.prd.go.th/CenterWeb/NewsEN/NewsDetail?NT01_NewsID=WNEVN5904260010018#sthash.UcDzyC0u.dpuf