Phuket people “should handle environmental problems’

PHUKET: The Phuket Environment Committee (PEC) is to push for the island to have its own Environmental Protection Office, members said today, because Phuket is the county’s most important resort. Up to now, they said, environmental problems that have cropped up in Phuket have been addressed very slowly because there has been no organization in the province that was directly responsible for handling them. “If a problem needs to be solved quickly, doing it through the Regional Environmental Office in Surat Thani takes too long,” Vice-Governor Vongsak Swasdipanich, chairman of the PEC, said at a meeting of the committee today. “We need to have our own people involved in fixing environmental problems. We should have local people making decisions for our environment so that we can come up with the most appropriate solution for us.” Sombat Atiset, president of the Phuket Tourism Association and the private sector’s representative on the PEC, agreed. “We have a lot of investment [coming into] in Phuket, some of which may harm our environment. Therefore, Phuket should have its own Environmental Protection Office.” He added that local residents should also be informed about the effects of damage to the environment and should be more deeply involved in environmental protection. Also present at the meeting was Suwan Nanthasarut, director of the Regional Environmental Office 11, in Surat Thani. He said that he saw merit in the idea and would present it to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) in Bangkok. He noted that the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, to which the DEQP reports, is keen to encourage the provinces to take care of their own environmental problems.

Phuket News

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