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Doi Suthep network boycotts meeting, wants to move forward on rehabilitation of forest

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Doi Suthep network boycotts meeting, wants to move forward on rehabilitation of forest | The Thaiger

The Reclaim Doi Suthep Forest network boycotted a meeting yesterday. They say they are pressing the government to push its stance on the rehabilitation of the mountainside forest land that was encroached on by residences for judges and court officials last year.

“We won’t attend any meeting until there is a clearer policy.”

Network spokespersons Chatchawan Thongdeelert, Bunnaroth Buaklee and Kamseeda Paenthai read the statement in front of Chiang Mai Provincial Hall yesterday. Many supporters of the network were also gathered there in support.

“So far, no one from the network has agreed to enter the meeting called by Chiang Mai Governor Supachai Iamsuwan to consider plans to solve problems related to buildings that were initially constructed to serve as the residences of court officials and judges.”

“The construction was done with funds from the government budget and with government approval.”

Activists and environmentalists discovered last year that many of the planned residences appeared to eat into the forest zone at the foot of Chiang Mai’s esteemed Doi Suthep. Due to pressure from their protests and growing local sentiment opposing the project, the government finally pulled the pin on allowing court officials and judges to move into the completed residences.

The government has since offered to relocate the residential complex to Chiang Rai province.

But the Network to Reclaim Doi Suthep Forest remains unhappy, as the government has not agreed to  dismantle all encroaching structures and allow fast and full rehabilitation of the previous forest area.

“What the government has done is only short-term rehabilitation,” the network said in the statement yesterday.

The network also suggests that the Office of the Judiciary clearly hand back to the Treasury Department the area now containing the encroaching structures.

“All furniture should also be removed from all residences. And the committee on rehabilitation be given a clear scope of duty and power,” it added.

The rehabilitation process, moreover, should include comprehensive public participation, the network insists. The network is also demanding that the Chiang Mai provincial government ‘treat civil society with respect and sincerity’.

They complained that on several occasions relevant officials refused to provide a copy of documents related to the case.

The network’s representatives say PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha must clearly express his stance on resolutions reached by the committee chaired by PM’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana.

Doi Suthep network boycotts meeting, wants to move forward on rehabilitation of forest | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

 



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Air Pollution

Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog

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Chiang Mai ‘s tourism holds up despite smoke and smog | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai’s current poor air quality and smoke haze is raising concerns on the potential impact on tourism as Thailand’s Songkran water festival approaches.

Smog has been a yearly occurrence in Northern Thailand, but this year the situation appears to be the worst with Chiang Mai topping the air pollution ranking and the media tracking daily results.

But La-iad Bungsrithong, president of the Thai Hotels Association (Northern Chapter), says there appears to be a short-term decline in the market.

However, she attributes the current performance to March being part of the traditional low season rather than the pollution, adding that there has been no booking cancellation from leisure or MICE guests.

The Songkran festival typically sees leisure demand for Chiang Mai from South-east Asia, Europe, China and Thailand. According to La-iad, room occupancy in April last year was 65 per cent, reaching 85 per cent during the Songkran period (April 12-14).

She expects similar figures for Songkran this year but also greater competition arising from new hotels around Chiang Mai and Airbnb.

Similarly, a spokesperson of Standard tour, Somchai Sandnee, said the company’s business has not been affected by the air pollution. Chinese tourists are less perturbed by smog issues than political turmoil and recent events such as the boat accident in Phuket last year, Somchai pointed out.

Chotechuang Soorangura, associate managing director of NS Travel & Tours, also says he doesn’t see the smog having an impact on sales.

“The smog is considered an annual situation and our company always (issues) an advice to customers. In the case where customers really want to visit Chiang Mai, we will suggest they limit their stays in the city in favour of other provinces instead such as Sukhothai,” Chotechuang explained.

SOURCE: ttgasia.com

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Bangkok

Summer storms on the way for north, north-east

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Summer storms on the way for north, north-east | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

People living in the north of Thailand are being warned to brace themselves for some summer thunderstorms until Wednesday. The Meteorological Department issued an alert today saying the storms will be caused by a high-pressure system from China that will interact with the hot weather over upper Thailand.

Outbreaks of summer thunderstorms will be likely from today to March 27. Thundershowers, gusty winds and hail are possible first in the Northeast and the East then the Central, and the North region.

Are you affected?

March 23-24

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Udon Thani, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri and Saraburi.East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsao.

March 25-27

North: Kamphaengphet, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Phetchabun.

Northeast: Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

Central: Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Saraburi and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya including Bangkok and its vicinity.

East: Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsoa.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Air Pollution

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | The Thaiger

Chiang Mai is back on top of the world’s list of most air-polluted cities, according to the AirVisual.com website.

AirVisual reports at 1.45pm that the air quality index (AQI) of Chiang Mai on Saturday stands at 471 (##!!??!!) , much higher than the 100 AQI safety standard (the WHO lists the safety limit as 50 on the AQI scale). It’s been about 350 all day today.

In its six scale listings Chiang Mai is now listed at the bottom as ‘Hazardous’, the scale doesn’t go any lower.

The northern capital has been covered with white, mostly bushfire smoke and smog, for almost two weeks prompting Chiang Mai residents to wear N95 air-filter marks outdoors. Or stay indoors.

The Chiang Mai University, the Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna and Chiang Mai provincial administration confirmed that the air quality in the city remained critical.

Hazardous: Chiang Mai again leads the world in air pollution | News by The Thaiger

 

 

 

 

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