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Thai PM addresses UN Climate Action Summit, pledges ASEAN support

Maya Taylor

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Thai PM addresses UN Climate Action Summit, pledges ASEAN support | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: www.mfa.go.th

Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha says the ASEAN region is committed to working with the international community to tackle the issue of climate change.

Addressing the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York, the PM was speaking in his capacity as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Expressing his admiration for the UN secretary general’s efforts in dealing with the threat of climate change, the PM adds that the ASEAN region is doing its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conscious that many nations in the region are vulnerable to the fallout from climate change.

General Prayut says the region is working on energy transition and reducing the reliance on petrol, adding that energy use has dropped by 21.9% compared to 2005.

The goal is to achieve a 30% drop by 2025, while increasing use of renewable energy by 23% in the same year, along with the goal of reducing petrol usage in small vehicles by 26% between 2015 and 2025.

However, the PM points out that the region cannot do it alone. He says ASEAN countries will need help from the international community, adding that developed countries should provide financial and technological support, to ensure the region can achieve its energy conservation goals.

“No single country can fight climate change alone. ASEAN is ready to be a partner to the international community to carry out actions regarding climate change to ensure a sustainable climate for the current and future generations.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Thailand

Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Irina Iriser on Unsplash

Thai health officials are calling for a ban on smoking in residential buildings, such as condominiums, hotels, and dormitories. Those campaigning for a change in the law say it’s needed to protect the health of residents, and children in particular. Paisan Limsathit, from the Health Laws and Ethics Centre at Thamassat University, says residential buildings should be smoke-free in order to protect residents from second-hand smoke. He was speaking at a seminar on the protection of non-smoking condo residents.

The seminar was organised by the National Health Foundation and examined the results of a September – October study from Thammasat University that looked at smoking in condominium buildings.

According to the findings, out of over 1,200 people surveyed, 15% say they are smokers. Nearly half of those say they usually smoke on the balcony of their condo. 89% of respondents are in support of a total ban on smoking in condo buildings.

Meanwhile, Nipapan Kangsakulniti from the Faculty of Public Health at Mahidol University, says non-smokers are susceptible to second-hand smoke in shared buildings, adding that, according to a US study, banning smoking in residential buildings could cut maintenance costs by nearly 5 billion baht, as well as protecting the health of residents and reducing the risk of fires.

While the law in Thailand outlaws smoking in government and office buildings, as well as shopping malls and other public spaces like lobbies and corridors, there is no outright ban on smoking in residential buildings. Charan Kesorn from the Property Management Association of Thailand and the Thai Real Estate Association, says a compromise would be to reserve dedicated smoking areas away from non-smoking residents.

The fine for breaching Thailand’s ban on smoking in public places starts at 2,000 baht, rising to a potential 100,000 baht and/or a year in prison for smokers caught puffing on the beach.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Thailand

Human feces dumped in watershed contaminates Karen people’s drinking water

Caitlin Ashworth

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Human feces dumped in watershed contaminates Karen people’s drinking water | The Thaiger
PHOTO: one31

A truck allegedly dumped a tank of human feces in a watershed that drains into water sources used by a group of Karen people, leaving the community in Northern Thailand’s Tak province with no clean drinking water. Around 200 Karen people gathered at a police station in the Phop Phra district to file a complaint.

For generations, water drained from the watershed has been used by the Karen people. Recently, there have been other incidents involving waste dumped in the watershed and locals have been concerned that the polluted water could affect their health.

The Karen people say they identified the business behind the dumping. Nation Thailand did not report on the name of the business, but says the company agreed to pay 10,000 baht in compensation. Legal action against the business may follow.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Krabi

Homeless hermit crabs in Koh Lanta need seashell donations

Caitlin Ashworth

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Homeless hermit crabs in Koh Lanta need seashell donations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Moo Koh Lanta Marina National Park

Hermit crabs on Moo Koh Lanta Marine National Park have been seen making homes out of broken glass bottles and other pieces of trash. With the shortage of shells on the Krabi beaches, park officials have launched a project called “Returning Homes to Hermit Crabs.”

The park made a post on Facebook with photo a hermit crab that appears to be living in a broken glass bottle. So far, a number of people responded and pledged to donate around 200 kilograms of shells. A park official, who spoke to the Bangkok Post, says they still need more.

“We still need more… All donated items will be dropped on beaches for hermit crabs to choose their new homes.”

The number of hermit crabs is rapidly growing, but the island doesn’t have enough shells for the crabs and many have resorted to trash left on the beach. The park official says they don’t believe tourists contributed to the shortage of seashells.

“Some tourists might take shells home but that was not the underlying cause of the problem… There are simply more hermit crabs than shells.”

To donate or to get more information, contact the park at 075-656-576.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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