Thailand and Cambodia are set to establish a joint task force aimed at addressing transboundary haze pollution, a plan that will be formalized in an upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Manet, scheduled for February 7th in Thailand.
In conjunction with this meeting, the two leaders will participate in a study tour in Sa Kaeo province, an area heavily affected by PM2.5 pollution. Srettha said earlier such pollution requires cooperation between neighboring countries.
The task force’s efforts will be supported by satellite imagery provided by Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), which plays an important role in identifying and responding to wildfire hotspots.
Highlighting the importance of clean air, Prime Minister Srettha mentioned that the right to clean air is a priority for the government, alongside stimulating the tourism-based economy. He expressed the belief that clean air should be considered a fundamental right for all residents in the country.
In line with these efforts, the Clean Air bill, currently under consideration in parliament, seeks to equip national and local organizations with more effective administrative tools for controlling emissions of PM2.5 and other pollutants. The bill, which is seen as urgent, underwent deliberation in the House of Representatives but saw its first reading vote postponed to the following week due to extended debate.
The proposed legislation is expected to introduce mechanisms for tackling haze pollution, such as international cooperation to reduce biomass burning in agriculture, cutting traffic emissions, and enhancing coordination among state agencies.