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Bhumjaithai ministers will quit if herbicides are not banned

The Thaiger

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Bhumjaithai ministers will quit if herbicides are not banned | The Thaiger
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Lobbying is intensifying over a final decision to ban three controversial herbicides – paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos. With farmers, agri-business interests, environmental activists and social media all putting pressure on decision-makers to sway their decision, the biggest pressure is from within the ruling Palang Pracharat government.

Increasing pressure is now being applied to the National Hazardous Substances Committee after the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced that the Bhumjaithai party’s ministers, who oversee the use of the herbicide trio, will resign if the committee does not decide to completely ban the three toxic chemicals.

The resignation of the minority partys’ Ministers from the coalition government would force Palang Pracharat into risky minority government territory where they would lose any no-confidence motion.

Speaking at a hotel in the southern province of Phatthalung, along with six other Bhumjaithai party MPs, Mr. Anutin reaffirmed the party’s demand, in the public interest, for a complete ban on the herbicides.

He said that two representatives of the Health ministry, who sit on the NHSC, will definitely vote to ban the substances as he called on the committee for an open vote, instead of a secret ballot as it had done in the past.

According to Thai PBS World, when asked about the opinion of Mr. Chadha Thaiseth, an MP from Uthai Thani province and elder brother of Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth who suggested the party’s ministers overseeing the use of the herbicides must resign if they are not banned, the deputy prime minister said they were ready to quit “if we cannot control those people.”

Mr. Anutin did not elaborate which ministers should quit, but it is understood he was referring to himself and Ms. Mananya.

The National Hazardous Substances Committee is yet to set the date for a final decision on the ban.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Bhumjaithai ministers will quit if herbicides are not banned | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul

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Environment

National park staff scramble to prevent more wildfires as dry season approaches

Greeley Pulitzer

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National park staff scramble to prevent more wildfires as dry season approaches | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Staff at Phu Kradueng National Park take a nap after working for almost two straight days - The Nation

Phu Kradueng National Park officials told the press today that although they had contained the bushfire that started on Sunday and damaged over 3,400 rai of park forests, they still need to build additional firebreaks to prevent a reoccurrence, which is more likely during the dry season.

“Currently we have only one tractor truck to build the firebreaks. It has been working around the clock for two straight days and the engine is not in very good condition.”

Officials of the park in Loei province say they have an additional truck at the Wildfire Extinguishment Unit, but transporting it to the site of the fire would require a helicopter, which they don’t have.

“In a worst-case scenario, we may have to disassemble the truck and carry the parts by foot, which would take at least two days.”

National park staff scramble to prevent more wildfires as dry season approaches | News by The Thaiger

The Region 10 Environmental Office reports that the bushfire in Phu Kradueng damaged at least 3,400 rai of the national park’s pine forest and grassfields, including an iconic 100 year old pine tree. The fire was the third and worst bushfire in the past eight years.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Wildfire damages over 2000 rai in national park

Greeley Pulitzer

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Wildfire damages over 2000 rai in national park | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - The Nation

A wildfire yesterday morning in the Phu Kradueng National Park in the northeastern province of Loei damaged more than 2000 rai, mostly pineforest and grassland. Adisorn Hemthanont, chief of the park’s wildfire extinguishment unit, made the announcement today.

“A dozen staff tried to extinguish the fire but the strong winds blew fireballs across the fire barrier and [they] landed about 400 metres from Mesa Cliff. At around 11am, the bushfire spread quickly around Mesa Cliff, covering a large area.”

Adisorn says more than 130 staff from the extinguishment unit, park officials and volunteers used three tractors and four water trucks, working all afternoon and into the night to build a barrier to prevent the fire spreading. The blaze was reportedly brought under control at around dawn today.

Phu Kradueng National Park is in Si Than subdistrict, Loei province. It’s one of Thailand’s best known national parks, with a high point of 1,316 metres at Khok Moei and a total area of 348 square kilometres. It’s famous for beautiful sandstone cliffs, scenic viewpoints and a variety of tropical flora and fauna.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Fires continue devouring Thailand’s North

Greeley Pulitzer

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Fires continue devouring Thailand’s North | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wildfires continue ravaging Thailand's nortehern regions. A total of 3,238 fires were recorded nationwide - Bangkpk Post

Despite prohibitions on agricultural burning, wildfires continued ravaging forests across Thailand yesterday, especially in the North. Satellite images charting the progress of large fires yesterday morning showed the number of hotspots in the north had risen from 823 on Friday to 1,334. A total of 3,238 forest fires were recorded nationwide.

Mae Hong Son province had the highest number of large-scale blazes with 340, followed by Uthai Thani in the central region (209) and Tak (205), also in the north. The Pollution Control Department’s air monitoring stations showed the overall level of PM2.5 pollution in Mae Hong Son rose to 96 microgrammes per cubic metre, nearly double Thailand’s “safe” threshold of 50µg/m³. The threshold set by the World Health Organisation is 25µg/m³

Also hard-hit was Lampang province, where fires continued ravaging national park and wildlife sanctuary areas. Lampang’s provincial governor says that despite the fires, levels of PM2.5 have remained normal there, but he expects them to rise again in the coming week.

Fires continue devouring Thailand's North | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: – AirVisual

Officials of the Doi Pha Mueang Wildlife Sanctuary in Lampang say the fires wiped out 13 rai of forest in a single day, including seven rai of in conservation areas of Tham Pha Thai National Park.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said yesterday two helicopters were deployed to battle fires in inaccessible mountain areas in Lampang, Chiang Mai and Phrae provinces.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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