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					  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

                                                           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

          Thailand State of Environment Report in 2005                             families in 407 villages were affected by the tsunami.
is divided into 3 parts. Part I highlights significant                             Total damages included the death total of 5,395, while
environmental issues in 2005. Part II provides an                                  2,817 were reportedly missing, and 8,457 people were
overview of the state of natural resources and                                     injured, the total economic loss valued at approximately
environment of the country. Part III provides measures                             16,000 million baht.
for natural resources and environmental management.                                           Damages on the environment and natural
                                                                                   resources were, namely, damages on some areas of
Part I : Significant Environmental Issues in 2005
                                                                                   coral reefs especially at the diving spots, the loss of
          Significant environmental issues in 2005                                 mangrove forest around 1,910 rais, physical damages on
highlighted in Part I are Disasters from Tsunami,                                  beaches and coastal areas, problems of soil erosion and
Drought, Hazardous Substances and Waste, Tha Chin                                  soil salinity, damages on water resources including deep
Watershed Environmental Management, and Global                                     and shallow wells, and also piping water systems, the
Climate Change and Open Burning in Thailand.                                       occurrences of sinkholes in 16 provinces and landslides,
                                                                                   problems of solid wastes and wastewater. However,
                 Disasters from Tsunami                                            coastal water quality was not affected.

          Natural disaster caused by tsunami or seismic
sea waves could kill people and heavily damage houses
and natural resources. In 1782, about 40,000 people
were killed by tsunami in the South China sea. In 1876
an estimated 200,000 people along India’s densely
populated Bengal Coast were killed by tsunami.
          Most tsunamis were caused by the vertical
undersea displacements which could occur from many
possible factors such as undersea quakes at least 7
Richter, undersea volcanic eruptions, landslides into the
sea, underground nuclear bomb testing, or crashing of                                        Five administrative committees have been
the meteorites.                                                                    appointed to take care of livelihood recovery and
        The tsunami on December 26, 2004 was                                       environmental rehabilitation. Several sub – committees
caused by undersea quake centered at 3.298°N and                                   and working groups under these committees are now
95.778°E northwest of Sumatra Island in Indonesia. It                              carrying on the short, medium and the long term
approached the Southern part of Thailand around 7.58                               measures to rehabilitate the natural resources and
a.m. on the same day, covering 6 provinces on the                                  environments. Besides, private sectors, non-
Andaman coast, namely, Phang - nga, Krabi, Phuket,                                 governmental organizations as well as community/people
Ranong, Trang, and Satul. According to the 15 June                                 networks have joined together in relief and development
2005 data, almost 60,000 people or around 12,000                                   tasks since the first day of the disastrous event till now.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

           Many immediate/short and medium/long term                               should be effectively managed. People are agreed on
projects and activities have been carried out for                                  laws and regulations for public land use. Local
rehabilitation and development of environment and                                  community has the right to manage the ever-encroached
natural resources, namely, cleaning up seabed;                                     public land. Government officials effectively enforce the
rehabilitating coral reefs, mangrove forests, soil and                             concerned laws. Lastly, effective early warning system
water resources; zoning of community areas and                                     should be established for every risky area.
infrastructure; land allocation for area development;
zoning and setting measures for protection of                                                                    Drought
environment in affected areas; establishing the early
warning system, communications networks, and setting                                        Drought is a state of water shortage that
up the national disastrous warning center. With regard to                          worsens Thailand’s social and economic condition.
the tsunami victims, main assistances have been                                    Drought is a chronic phenomena and it is one of the
emergency responses such as food distribution,                                     country’s major problems. There have been reports on
provision of shelters and house repairing, counseling for                          drought in Thailand since 1967. They were indicating
traumatized victims, social and community recovery,                                that most part of the northern and central region, upper
economic development, and infrastructure rehabilitation.                           and western part of the north-eastern region, and the
                                                                                   upper part on the east coast of the south had been hit
           Even though there are overwhelming                                      by drought. These conditions resulted from the
assistances from all over the country and abroad, but                              topographical characteristics of those areas that south-
some families still do not receive proper assistances.                             west monsoon did not pass through as well as from the
This is because affected families are vastly scattered in                          seasonal variation.
6 provinces, and some are in very remote areas. In
addition, due to there is no central body to organize                                         In 2005, “drought” was claimed as a crucial
those assistances, many types of assistances are                                   problem of the nation due to long lasting shortage of
overlapped and may be not as needed by the affected                                water supply and could be counted as a worst drought in
people. Local communities themselves are lack of good                              the past several years. The major cause was that the
administrative systems. To strengthen affective                                    amount of rainfall during August and mid-October 2004
administration of assistances and to have effective                                was decreased. It was less than that of the 30-year-
rehabilitation and development, it is recommended that                             period average rainfall (1971 – 2000). The amount of
local leaders and people should be trained on                                      rainfall continued declining to no rain in December 2004.
administration of assistances, especially on donating                              Furthermore, the average rainfall in January to May of
funds, projects and activities for the communities. With                           2005 were less than that of the year 2004 at the same
regard to environment and natural resources, integrated                            period resulted in serious drought in the north,
approaches with local participation should be employed                             northeastern, central and the east region of the country.
for effective and sustainable rehabilitation and                                   In addition, stored water in the reservoirs was insufficient
development. Besides, provision of knowledge for those                             to meet the demand in 2004 leading to the drought
who are in government sectors, tourism business and                                problem in 2005, especially for agricultural and industrial
the population in general concerning disasters from                                consumption.
tsunami and how to protect themselves from the                                              The 2005 drought had affected on country’s
disasters are urgently needed. Vulnerable land areas                               social, economic and agricultural condition. From the
such as beaches, coastal land, seafront dunes, coral                               data on 21 March 2005 which was the worst period of
reefs and mangrove forests should be strictly protected                            the year revealed that drought had affected on the area
and limited uses. Use on beaches for public interest                               of 71 provinces which covers 44,519 villages (60 % of

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

the total villages), 2,843,540 families, and 13,736,660                            and deaths were pesticides and heavy metals. The high
rais of cultivated lands (mostly rice fields). The total lost                      public concerns on hazardous substances and wastes
was approximately 7,566 million bahts.                                             were breast cancer from chemical exposures, pesticides
           Government has launched urgent and long-                                applications in the large scale orange growing lands in
term remedies against drought problems. Ministry of                                Chiang Mai, and illegal disposals of hazardous wastes,
Natural and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and                               especially using Thailand as final destination of
Cooperatives, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of                                hazardous waste transportation.
Defense had been assigned to be in charge of                                                Important means to solve problems of
prevention and remedy for urgent drought problems                                  hazardous substances and wastes are several. The most
through Royal artificial rain, provision of under-ground                           important one is a government policy. If it would be
water, and distributing water for consumption and                                  implemented efficiently, the problems of hazardous
cultivation. For long-term remedy, the national strategic                          substances and wastes in Thailand should be properly
water management plan (2004 – 2008) and irrigation                                 solved. Moreover, organizations of concerns should work
network system have been established for sustainable                               more corporately. Quality of laws and enforcement
consumption in all sectors. Nevertheless, an integrated                            should be improved to be consistent with international
watershed management including public participation                                laws and regulations. Finally, access to information of
could however be another alternative to help solving                               hazardous substances and wastes for public participation
drought problems.                                                                  should be facilitated.

       Hazardous Substances and Waste
          Socio-economic development to increase
productivity was an important factor of increasing
hazardous substances production and import for the last
many years. The consequences of those activities were
the problems and impacts of hazardous substances and
wastes to health and safety of the Thai peoples. Those
problems were caused by several pressures including
laws and organizations.
          Statistics of the year 2004 showed trend of                               Tha Chin Watershed Environmental Management
increasing production and import of hazardous
substances. However, the amount of hazardous wastes                                          Tha Chin watershed which is in the central
was not so clear because several studies provided                                  region of Thailand has total area of 13,681 square
inconsistent quantities of hazardous wastes productions                            kilometers. The watershed has faced many
in Thailand. Statistics showed almost half reduction of                            environmental problems due to increasing industrial and
agricultural chemicals import last year. In contrast,                              agricultural activities as well as the very fast expansion
numbers of chemical disasters were increased in that                               of communities. Those environmental problems are
period of time. Most of chemical disasters occurred in                             namely, water quality of the Tha Chin river, water
industry. However, impact of disasters in terms of                                 shortage, water allocation, flooding and others. In
economic loss was somewhat low, approximately 200                                  addition, solid waste management problem, hazardous
millions bahts in the year 2004. Impacts to health and                             substances and waste, air and noise pollution, and land
life were decreasing. The major causes of sicknesses                               use problems, are generally appear in the area.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

          To manage Tha Chin watershed, the four                                            To cope with environmental problems in the
provinces, namely, Chainat, Supanburi, Nakorn-pathom,                              watershed, several measures are suggested. The major
and Samut Sakorn are considered to be within                                       ones are promotion of public awareness in efficient water
boundary. The most important problems in the area are                              usages and encouragement of participation in activities
problems on water quality and water quantity. Problems                             such as water quality monitoring and garbage
on water quantity are from allocation of irrigation water in                       management among all concerned sectors.
the watershed area, flooding in the flood plain area in
the rainy season, as well as water shortage problem due                             Global Climate Change and Open Burning in Thailand
to increasing water demand and decreasing water                                             During the past 10-15 years, the greenhouse
supply.                                                                            effect has demonstrated its impacts on global climate
           Water quality in the Tha Chin river has been                            change which become clear with the increase of extreme
declining during the past 10 years. At present, the water                          events of the climate-related impacts. Hurricane,
quality still do not meet the standard set for the Tha Chin                        typhoon, land slide, forest fires, heat wave, floods,
river, especially the downstream zone and estuary which                            droughts, coldness, sea-level rise and epidemic diseases
is heavily polluted due to pig raising, agriculture, and                           are the major effects as many thousands of lives and a
industrial activities.                                                             tremendous economic loss took place worldwide each
                                                                                   year. The temperature rise and climate change are
          With regard to water management, the                                     clearly occurred in the area between the latitude of
government takes a major role in terms of both water                               40°N-70°N.
quality and water quantity management. However,
                                                                                             The year 1998 was recorded as the warmest
integrated water management just has been started
                                                                                   year of the 20th Century in which the economic loss due
recently. At present, the integrated management plan for
                                                                                   to extreme climate events was as high as about US$
Tha Chin watershed is in the process of development
                                                                                   89,000 million. In 2005, there were a number of the
and is expected to be implemented according to the plan
                                                                                   extreme weather events continuously take place almost
within the year 2006. Besides the government sectors,
                                                                                   every month. To name a few, typhoons and heavy
local communities and non-governmental sectors also
                                                                                   floods which hit China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
have important roles in water management of the
                                                                                   in late June, followed by several hurricanes in the
watershed. Sub-committee on Tha Chin Watershed
                                                                                   southern U.S.A. in July, August, and September of that
Management has been established to take care of all
                                                                                   year were major causes of huge number of deaths and
related quality and quantity problems. Major government
                                                                                   property damages. In addition, Avian influenza and
agencies concerned in these issues are namely,
                                                                                   Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have been
Pollution Control Department, Environmental Quality
                                                                                   appeared as epidemic lately, and it is still doubtful
Promotion Department, Industrial Works Department,
                                                                                   concerning their relationship with climate change.
Regional Environmental Office 5, Local Administrative
Office, Ministry of Education, and Department of                                             The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Livestock Development. In addition to water                                        Change (IPCC) reported that the mean surface
management problem, solid waste as well as hazardous                               temperature and the sea-level of our planet have
substances and waste management problems are also                                  increased approximately 0.6±0.2°C and 10-25
predominant in the area. These problems are partly due                             centimeters respectively since late 19th Century. The
to lack of capacity, knowledge and appropriate                                     IPCC also forecasted that the global temperature and
technology of the local government.                                                the sea-level may increase about 1.4-5.8°C and 9-88

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

centimeters by the end of 21st Century depending on the                            However, the Royal Thai Government should consider
emission of greenhouse gases that can be reduced.                                  the additional proposed measures such as transforming
                                                                                   the NSMPCCA Plan into an Action Plan after it has been
                                                                                   approved by the Cabinet, making a proposal to establish an
                                                                                   ASEAN Committee on the Climate Change in order to
                                                                                   reach a common position and share interests in the
                                                                                   world forum and others, making control and a
                                                                                   remediation of the coastal erosion on the coast of the
                                                                                   Choa Phraya River’s mouth, conducting a preventive
                                                                                   measures and control including the epidemiological study
                                                                                   of the vector-borne and rodent-borne diseases which
                                                                                   may relate to the climate change. In addition, Planning
                                                                                   for research and development should gain more serious
          Thailand cannot avoid the global effects even                            attention on the purposes of international meeting and
though the proportion of greenhouse gas emissions is                               negotiation on the world forum, and to help adaptation
less than 1% of the global emissions. Many serious                                 on the agricultural sector, especially those economic
events and disasters have taken place during the past                              plants and fishery, etc.
10 years, such as smoke from forest fire in Indonesia in                                    In addition to the implementations according to
1997-8 which was the year that El NiÑo occurred in this                            the Convention and Protocol, the preparation and
region. The smoke event from Indonesia repeated again                              adaptation to the climate change and its consequences
in 2005. Thailand also faced problems of heavy floods                              are essential for all countries to protect their land and
and droughts annually. Problems of sea-level rise and                              people. A serious consideration on this issue should be
coastal erosion are also the serious ones. The lower                               made at the national level since its impacts and violence
Choa Phraya Basin has been influenced by sea-level                                 to lives and economic development has been
rise in which the increase of sea-level had been                                   recognized.
observed at about 13.19±0.73 millimeters per year
                                                                                            Regarding the open burning problems in
during 1940-1994. The problems of land subsidence in                               Thailand, it is indicated that the major causes are from
this basin have also accelerated the impacts of sea-level                          burning of agricultural and solid wastes, and forest fire.
rise. At present, coastal erosion especially on the coast                          The action plan, based on the master plan of open
of the Choa Phraya River’s mouth, occurs at the rate of                            burning control (2004-2008), has been set up to solve
10-25 meters per year. In addition, the reported cases of                          the problems of open burning. The National Environment
Encephalitis, Scrup typhus and Leptospirosis in Thailand                           Board has already approved the action plan on 3
has shown the increasing trend during the past 10 years                            December 2004. In addition, integrated plan for
while the number of Malaria cases have been more                                   operation of open burning control in agricultural areas
stable.                                                                            has also been set up to reduce burning in those areas.
          Thailand has participated in both technical and
policy functions in the world forum of the United Nations                          Part II State of Environment in 2005
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
and the Kyoto Protocol. Thailand now completes the                                           The State of Environment in 2005 is presented
National Strategic Management Plan on Climate Change                               in 4 chapters: Natural Resources, Pollution, Urban and
Adaptation (NSMPCCA) and the National Guideline                                    Community Environment, and Natural Environment and
Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism.                                     Cultural Environment.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

                     Natural Resources                                                        Department of Agricultural Economics reported
                                                                                   about land use and type of agricultural holding area that
Forest Resources                                                                   there are somewhat change in type of agricultural
                                                                                   holding area during 1998-2001. In 2001, there were
          In 2004, forest area in Thailand was around                              about 65 million rais of paddy field and 28 million rais of
167,590 square kilometers or about 32.66% of the                                   field crop areas. Concerned organization has
country’s area. This figure is less than that of the year                          continuously carried out plans and activities for soil
2000 by 2,500 square kilometers. The area for                                      rehabilitation and conservation. Those activities include
conservation and recreation which mostly are national                              growing Vetiver grass to prevent erosion, promotion of
park and wildlife sanctuary areas accounts for 93,808                              organic farming, remediation of saline soil and other
square kilometers or about 56% of the total forest area.                           special problem – soils, and revision of laws related to
Royal Forest Department and Department of National                                 land use.
Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation have launched
many significant projects to meet the objectives of                                Water Resources
conservation and efficient management of forest
resources, in accordance with sustainable development                                         Water is essential for life and all economic
guideline.                                                                         activities. Statistics of the annual average rainfall from
                                                                                   the year 1995 to 2004 shows continuous decreasing
          To accomplish the afore-mentioned objectives,
                                                                                   rainfall since 1999. However, in 2005 Thailand was hit
the Royal Forest Department has set four years action
                                                                                   by several depressions causing floods in the north and
plan (2005-2008) to manage forest resources by having
                                                                                   northern regions. Due to 25 watersheds development
public participation towards the goal of sustainability, and
                                                                                   and management, the water impoundment capacity can
has launched several projects, namely, One Tambon
                                                                                   reach up to the total volume of 73,700 million cubic
One Public Park; Promotion of Commercial Forest
                                                                                   meters. For underground water resources, it was
Plantation; and Forest Plantation Projects. Department of
                                                                                   estimated from the 12 basins with underground water of
National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has
                                                                                   15,877 million cubic meters/year that could be potentially
projects on Integrated Management of Forest and
                                                                                   developed at about 3,175 million cubic meters/year,
Wildlife Biodiversity; Management of Protected Area with
                                                                                   where the upper and lower Chao Phraya Basin have
Public Participation; Clean Public Park, Cheerful Nature.
                                                                                   high yield potential.
Land Resources and Land Use

           Thailand has total area of 320.7 million Rais
which consists of agricultural land of 131 million Rais or
about 40% of the country area. The country has been
facing problems of deteriorated soil and improper land
use for decades. Improper land use management and
deforestation have resulted in severe erosion in many
areas of the country. In some areas of the non-utilized
land, it is found that the serious soil loss was greater
than 20 tons/rai/year. In addition, saline soils and acid
soils in several areas also need special treatment.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

           Drought situation in Thailand tends to be                                        Production process of mineral resources may
increasingly serious. It is found that water demand for all                        cause serious problems and impacts on environment
activities in 2001 is around 67,052 million cubic meters.                          and human health. The evidence of impacts are such as
In 2005, Thailand faced severe drought due to 2 months                             saline soil in the northeast region caused by rock salt
delaying of the previous year seasonal rainfall, causing                           production, cadmium problem from zinc mining in Tak
water shortage in many reservoirs. The situation was                               province, high concentration of dust from stone crushing
worse by increasing water demand from various sectors.                             mills in Saraburi province, the protest against potash
Water shortage in the eastern seaboard during mid                                  mining in Udonthani province, physical impacts on
2005 was very severe, especially in Chonburi and                                   archeological sites, ancient cities, and cultural
Rayong provinces where conflicts regarding water usage                             environment, as well as problems of land slides and land
took place among communities, agricultural and                                     subsidence.
industrial sectors. Ministry of Natural Resources and                                        With regard to geological conservation sites
Environment by Department of Underground Water                                     such as mineral resource museum, fossil sites, and geo-
Resources has developed underground water to                                       tourist sites, Department of Mineral Resources has
increase water resources within the areas.                                         considered them as the places for seeking geological
         Heavy flood problems also took place in 2005                              knowledge, as well as geological and ancient biological
in several areas of the country, such as the areas of                              evidences. The Department has finished the draft act to
Yom, Chee, Khong, Ping, the east coast, and the lower                              protect the fossil. At present, it is in the process of
Chao Phraya river basins. Regarding water quality, there                           consideration by concerned agencies.
was 4 out of 49 rivers and 9 fresh water resources under                                     Recommendations for mineral resources
survey that water quality are classified as very low.                              management consist of the followings: acceleration of
Those are the lower Chao Phraya, lower Tha Chin, lower                             enforcement on control measures to prevent illegal
Lam Takong, and Song Khla lake.                                                    mining, improvement of mining process and effective
         To solve water resource problems efficiently,                             enforcement on environmental rehabilitation during and
cooperation and coordination from all concerned sectors                            after mining, promotion of geological education and
is needed, especially all various government sectors                               survey to support the protection and remedial guidelines
need to work in harmony.                                                           for solving geological related disasters, and promotion of
                                                                                   survey and development of geo-tourism.
Mineral Resources                                                                  Energy Resources

          The production of mineral resources has been                                       At present, reserved energy in Thailand has
increasing to serve demand in the country. There were                              been decreased due to the demand of energy has
more than 40 kinds of mineral ores produced in 2004.                               markedly been increased especially for transportation
The production value increased from that of 2003 by                                and industrial sectors. Consequently, Thailand needs to
15%. The highest production value was from minerals of                             import energy from other countries and develop
fuel or energy group which was followed by minerals of                             alternative fuels to compensate the use of fossil fuels.
cement industry group and industrial stone group                                   Nowadays, the government gives priority to the utilization
respectively. With regard to export and import of mineral                          of alternative fuels especially bio-fuels such as gasohol,
production, the increasing trend was observed in 2004.                             bio-diesel, and natural gas for vehicle (NGV).
The export and import values increased from those of                                         Gasohol is widely recognized and the gasohol
2003 by 28% and 40% respectively.                                                  stations are rapidly increased. In April 2005, the average

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

sale per day was around one million liters. The use of                             projects and activities are such as rehabilitation of
gasohol instead of fossil fuel will reduce air pollutants                          mangrove forest, survey the status and locate
since gasohol is more environmentally friendly than                                conservation and use zones of coral reef resources,
gasoline.                                                                          survey and provide protected areas for sea-grass and
          Bio-diesel is another alternative fuel. The                              manatees.
government has supported the use and production of
bio-diesel by setting the goal for 2011 in which the use
of bio-diesel will reach 720 million liters per year. Natural                                Thailand is one of the countries with
gas for vehicles or NGV is less widely used as                                     biodiversity richness. Different ecological zones, such as
compared to gasohol due to limitation of gas stations                              mountainous region in the north, river basin in central
and requirement for gas containers. The government has                             plains and tropical rainforests in the southern peninsular,
launched projects to promote the use of NGV, such as                               have provided abundant resources and supplies for
installment of NGV equipment for 10,000 volunteered                                every Thai generation to use as food, medicines, fuel,
taxis, and increase stations for service of NGV.                                   clothes and shelter. Benefits from biodiversity also come
          In 2005, the government has actively                                     in the forms of trade, science and tourism. Unfortunately,
campaigned on several energy saving programs. The                                  Thailand, at present, has lost its biodiversity at the
campaign on “turning off air conditions for one hour and                           alarming rate, resulting from the loss of forest areas,
turning off at least one light for five minutes” on the first                      mangrove forests, coral reefs and other natural
of June achieved the energy saving up to 822                                       ecosystems.
megawatts and 702 megawatts respectively. In addition,                                        However, the government and private sectors
ten energy saving measures were set as guidelines for                              have initiated and put efforts on several projects and
practice in households as well as other regulations to                             activities to mitigate and convert such rate. The
help solving energy crisis of the country.                                         government’s activities include the ratification of the
                                                                                   Convention on Biological Diversity, establishment of
Marine and Coastal Resources                                                       protected areas, ecosystem rehabilitation, development
                                                                                   of effective conservation measures and legislation for
                                                                                   access and benefit sharing from the utilization of genetic
                                                                                   resources, and promoting researches on biological
                                                                                   resources, such as medicinal plants. The private sector’s
                                                                                   activities consist of forest plantation, researches on
                                                                                   maximized biological resource utilization, and new
                                                                                   material as biological resource replacement to use in
                                                                                   industrial process. Many of the above-mentioned
           Significant causes of marine and coastal                                activities are still in the first stage. To conserve the
resources deteriorations are destruction of breeding                               country’s biodiversity successfully and also sustain
ground and natural buffer zone, use of natural resources                           people’s livelihood, further supports from all relevant
beyond carrying capacity, accumulation of solid wastes                             stakeholders, especially the public and local communities
on beaches, intrusion of coastal areas, coastal water                              are required. Furthermore, all Thai people should be
pollution, and coastal erosion.                                                    aware of natural resource values, know how to live with
         Concerned agencies have implemented several                               nature and tremendous treasures that nature gives to
projects and activities to solve the problems. Those                               humankind.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

                            Pollution                                                       Recommendations for solid waste management
                                                                                   include the followings: practices to recycle should be
Solid Waste                                                                        supported and promoted by making it be a formal
                                                                                   system, law and regulations should be revised or passed
          The quantity of solid waste generated in                                 the new ones on deposit-refund system and separating
Thailand has been increasing during the past 12 years. It                          the wastes for collection, cleaner production and waste
was about 11.18 million tons in 1993 and increasing to                             exchange system as well as packaging waste should be
14.58 million tons in 2004 or about 30% increase. Solid                            regulated to create more environmentally products, and
waste generated in 2004 was at 39,956 tons/day. Only                               the regional central waste management center should be
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) produced                                 developed.
almost ¼ of the total quantity. To compare the quantity
of solid waste generated in 2004 to that in 2003 which                             Water Pollution
was at 39,240 tons/day, it is found that the increasing
rate is about 1.82. The highest increasing rate (4.21%) is                                    In 2004, Pollution Control Department reported
for municipal areas in the central and eastern regions,                            on water quality that the quality of about 23% of all
the next highest (3.52%) is in the south, and the least                            surveyed water resources was good, 51% moderate,
increasing rate (0.17) is in BMA.                                                  while 21% deteriorated, and 5% very deteriorated. The
                                                                                   water resources with good water quality in Thailand has
          With regard to solid waste management in
                                                                                   been reduced almost 50% during the past 3 years, while
Thailand, the government has increased budget more for
                                                                                   some parts of the deteriorated water bodies have been
the local to collect and dispose solid waste during the
                                                                                   improved since many municipalities completed their
past 12 years. At present, several cleaner cities and
                                                                                   wastewater treatment plants. Water quality of lower Tha
towns are observed. However, the management of solid
                                                                                   Chin river, lower Lam Takong river in the area of Muang
waste is still facing problems at the step of disposal.
                                                                                   district, Nakornratchasima province, and Songkhla Lake
NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) syndrome is the main
                                                                                   in the area of Klong Samrong, were classified as very
cause of project’s delay as well as the impacts resulted
                                                                                   deteriorated condition as they have been for years.
from improper waste disposal.
                                                                                            With regard to coastal water quality along the
          BMA has been capable to collect all garbage
                                                                                   shoreline of 23 provinces, about 3% of all surveyed
with 2 transfer stations where the wastes are carried to
                                                                                   stations was classified as very good, 43% good, 45%
the landfills. Nevertheless, the other 1,156 municipalities
                                                                                   moderate, 5% deteriorated, and 4% very deteriorated.
with only 106 proper landfill sites across the country, can
                                                                                   Water quality at the rivers’ mouth of Chao Phraya river,
dispose only 5,325 tons/day or 42.60% of their total
                                                                                   Tha Chin river, and the east coast of Samutprakarn
wastes produced at about 12,000 tons/day. Outside
                                                                                   province were still the areas of very deteriorated water.
BMA, municipalities, and Pattaya, only 5% of solid
wastes which is generated at about 18,000 tons/day can                                       Water quality in each area can be improved or
be properly disposed. Most of them are disposed by                                 deteriorated depending on several factors. Some of them
open dumping and open burning or left over at the                                  are economic activities and water use, duration of
dumping sites.                                                                     drought, amount of rainfall, the progress of wastewater
                                                                                   treatment plants, and law enforcement. To improve the
         For practices related to recycle, about 21% of
                                                                                   water quality in river basins, time and a huge budget as
solid waste generated in 2004 were recycled and
                                                                                   well as efficient management are required for all steps
reused. Besides, there are reduction of solid waste at
                                                                                   concerned. In addition, a number of mitigation measures
sources, cleaner production and waste exchange
                                                                                   are recommended, such as growing Vetiver grass along
program in the industries.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

the rivers’ bank to reduce non-point source pollution, a                           cleaning the curbsides, policy setting on requirement of
sound waste management for animal farms by a waste-                                footpath or pavement of sidewalk for all roads in the
to-energy project, promotion of cleaner production in                              municipal areas to reduce dust from roadside, and
industries, and improvement of the collection system of                            effective enforcement of standard exhaust pipes at the
the sewerage in the coastal tourist communities.                                   service shops for motorcycles.
Air and Noise Pollution                                                            Urban and Community Environment
         Small particles (PM10 : particle size smaller                                       Problems on urban and community
than 10 microns) is still the main cause of air pollution in                       environment are significant and need urgent
Thailand. In 2004, dust or small particles in the air                              management. The urban population in Thailand has
exceeded the national ambient air quality standard in                              been dramatically growing during the past decades. This
many areas as in the past. Those areas are BMA,                                    phenomenon did have negative consequences on urban
Samutprakarn, the area of Na-Pralarn of Saraburi                                   environment, such as traffic and transportation problem,
province, Chiangmai, Lampang, Chonburi, Rayong, and                                air and noise pollution, solid wastes, insufficient
Ayutthaya. Total suspended particulates (particulate size                          infrastructures, slums, insufficient green area, and many
smaller than 100 microns) and Ozone were exceeded                                  other social problems. However, concerned agencies,
the standards in some areas and only certain times of                              Local Municipal Authority and non-governmental
the day. Carbon monoxide in most areas did not exceed                              organizations have implemented projects and activities to
the standaroad The other pollutants such as Sulfur                                 solve the above-mentioned problems. Some of those
dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, and Lead in the air did not                             projects and activities are establishment of law
exceed the standards.                                                              enforcement on urban and community environment,
         Noise level in Bangkok and other main cities                              policy setting on urban and community environment, land
have not changed much in the past 5 years. Noise level                             allocation for urban development and increasing green
at curbside in most cities, for 24-hours average, was                              area. Besides, strategic plans and projects have been
between 64-84 dBA or about 74% of the number of                                    set up to rehabilitate and develop the urban and
measurements exceeds the standard (24-hours average                                community in the areas of, such as traffic and
noise standard is 70 dBA). Those areas in BMA with                                 transportation, and housing.
high noise level are Bamroong-muang road, Yaowarad                                           Management of urban and community
road, Sukhumvit road, Tripet road, and Ladprao road.                               environment needs cooperation and coordination of all
For resident areas which are more than 50 meters away                              sectors. Factors on socio-economic and environment are
from the main road, noise level did not exceed the                                 also needed to be considered. In addition, expansion of
standard. In centered cities of the region like Hadyai                             proper development out side the urban areas, an
municipality area of Songkhla province and industrial                              effective enforcement of town planning, and effective
area like Na-Pralarn area of Saraburi province, noise                              management of urban transportation are recommended
level was not different from that of BMA.                                          for the achievement of sound development.
          To control and prevent problems of air and
noise pollution, it is recommended that some mitigation
measures should be established. Those measures are
such as provision of a legal industrial standard for the
catalytic converter, gas recovery system should be
legally applied to the gas stations in BMA and vicinity,
encouraging the local municipalities to give priority on

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Natural Environment and Cultural Environment                                       development of Krung Ratanakosin for the period of
                                                                                   2005-2009 and the strategy on conservation and
          The present problems and causes of                                       development of old towns for the period of 2005-2009,
degradation on natural environment and cultural                                    implementing the pilot project on selected old towns, and
environment of the country are not much different from                             project on survey and map production of old towns.
the past. With regard to natural environment
degradation, the major causes are from encroachment in                             Part III Natural Resources and Environmental
the forest, reservoirs, or other natural areas for housing,                                 Management
shops, and cultivated land. However, the degradation on
cultural environment is mainly from the neglect of ancient                                  This part provides four measures for natural
cities or modification of them without proper knowledge,                           resources     and      environmental    management:
and construction of roads through the boundary of the                              Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Laws,
ancient community.                                                                 Promotion of Public Participation, and Environmental
         To cope with the afore-mentioned problems is
not an easy task. Even though the local units on natural
                                                                                           Measures for Natural Resources and
and cultural environment conservation have been set up
since 1994 to have functions on public relation especially                                    Environmental Management
on concerned knowledge and conservation, and to keep
                                                                                   Environmental impact assessment
guard against such negative actions, the operational
tasks have usually faced various obstacles.                                                    Thailand has employed Environmental Impact
         At present, the significant projects or activities                        Assessment (EIA) as a tool for environmental
on natural environment and cultural environment                                    management in order to prevent and remedy negative
conservation include the followings:                                               impacts that may arise from project development, and
                                                                                   also to monitor the forecasting impacts when the project
          - Convention of World Cultural and Natural
                                                                                   already implemented. The EIA practice in Thailand
Heritage : Thailand has joined the Convention of World
                                                                                   does, however, have some limitations in many aspects.
Cultural and Natural Heritage, with the Office of the
                                                                                   Since EIA has been widely criticized regarding its
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and
                                                                                   reliability and accuracy during recent years, the Ministry
Planning as the focal point. In 2005, Dong Phayayen –
                                                                                   of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is
Khao Yai rain forest areas was registered as a world
                                                                                   therefore focusing on these issues in the revising
natural heritage site.
                                                                                   process of the National Environmental Quality Act 1992.
          - Conservation and development of river and                              The conceptual revision of the Act has introduced 4
canal environment in BMA : Major activities to conserve                            issues of EIA for the new draft of the law. Those are
and develop the river and canal environment include                                public participation process, EIA reviewing process,
physical and water quality rehabilitation, encouragement                           penalty, and enforcement. In addition, recommendations
of the rearrangements of land use and human settlement                             are also made especially for a mega-project with
along the canals, seeking coordination from all sectors to                         potentially high impacts that analysis of alternatives of
conserve the canals which have historical importance or                            the proposed project on different scenarios is needed.
local way of life values, and promotion of canal utilization                       The public should have information on feasibility study
as a basis for community socio-economic development.                               and EIA report as early as possible. Furthermore,
           - Conservation of old towns : Significant                               implementation of mitigation measures should be strictly
activities include setting the strategy on conservation and                        enforced.

  รายงานสถานการณคุณภาพสิ่งแวดลอม พ.ศ. 2548..............................................................................................EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Environmental laws                                                                 public participation important and can help protecting the
                                                                                   environment more effective.
           There are a number of laws and regulations
related to natural resources and environmental protection                          Environmental Fund
in Thailand. The ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment (MONRE) alone has to handle about 327                                            Environmental Fund was established as a
regulations. The implementation of law enforcement is                              financial measure supporting both government and
known to be not very effective. Therefore, several acts                            private sectors for their works on provision of control,
and regulations are presently under revision process by                            remedial, and disposal systems, and supporting the
MONRE. The revision mostly focuses on the principle of                             implementation of activities on enhancement and
precaution and prevention, and implementation of                                   conservation of environmental quality. The Environmental
economic instruments, polluter pays principle,                                     Fund Committee manages the fund under supervision of
sustainable development, good governance, and                                      the National Environment Board with the Office of
international aspects. It is also recommended that public                          Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and
participation, pubic access to information, and the                                Planning (ONEP) serves as the Secretariat of the
regulations that are suitable to local socio-economic                              Committee. In 2004 and 2005, the committee approved
condition, culture, values, and belief should be                                   229.655 million bahts for 13 projects.
considered.                                                                                  There are several limitations to administer or
                                                                                   manage the Environmental Fund effectively due to long
Promotion of Public Participation                                                  process of approval, lack of active public relation, lack of
                                                                                   sources of fund, personnel problems, and limitations of
          Social movement towards public participation is
                                                                                   the concerned law and regulations. The ONEP initially
one of many issues that presently faced Thai society.
                                                                                   solves the problems by increasing loan for private
Public participation is an essential part that can make
                                                                                   sectors, encouraging the local governments that
natural resources and environmental protection possible.
                                                                                   obtained the loan to build their central wastewater
Therefore, many organizations in Thailand have their
                                                                                   treatment plants and central waste disposal system to
agenda to promote public participation either required by
                                                                                   pay back by collecting the waste treatment fee, and
law or by volunteer, such as the local activities related to
                                                                                   making more effective public relation direct to the
public participation will be supported by the Environment
                                                                                   targets. The strategic plan with 3 years and annual
Fund. MONRE’s strategic plan of 2005-2008 contains a
                                                                                   operational framework (2005-2008) was therefore
number of projects dealing with this issue, such as Ping
                                                                                   established to be a direction of the fund management.
Watershed Management, Reforestation by Volunteers,
                                                                                   The ONEP also makes a proposal to revise all strict
Tourist Resources Improvement and Development,
Sustainable City Development, Reconcile Process
Development on the Disputes, etc. The non-
governmental organizations play significant roles in
promoting local communities manage their natural
resources. MONRE has organized and supported the
network of volunteer groups at the grass-root level in the
villages to protect natural resources and environment,
and also the youths for natural and environmental
resources protection. It has been realized that how