Envoys from 11 foreign consulates gave their approval to Chiang Mai officials’ latest plan to prevent and mitigate smoke and dust during the upcoming burning season.
Ben Robert Svati, Chiang Mai honorary consul for the United Kingdom, led the Oct. 22 delegation of embassy representatives which met with Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat at city hall.
Before presenting results of a quality-of-life survey and the strategy for 2021, Charoenrit apologized to the diplomats, saying he understood that expats and tourists were uncomfortable with air pollution that ranked at times last year the worst in the world.
“We are making every effort to prevent and solve foreign fires, haze and PM 2.5,” the governor said, referring to dust particles 2.5 microns or smaller.
Charoenrit said there is no blanket solution to solving the air pollution problem as the conditions and situation change every year, but he is confident that 2021 will see improvements.
Chiang Mai Province’s plan targets a 25 percent decrease in PM2.5 dust and haze by establishing working groups for forest fire and smoke management at the district and sub-district levels, with provincial disaster prevention and mitigation, natural resources and environment officials monitoring forest areas inside and outside the Chiang Mai city limits.
Constant monitoring is to be employed to control hotspots and ensure that farmers do not co-opt burned forest areas.
District officials also were directed to stage activities such as a cycling campaign to reduce vehicle use.
Speaking for the group, Svati said he was satisfied with the strategy for the upcoming burnings season and that the British consulate stands ready to assist if needed.