Thailand and Cambodia are set to collaborate more closely to address the issue of transborder haze pollution, primarily caused by wildfires and agricultural burning, through the establishment of a hotline and a joint committee. The initiative was discussed during a phone call between Deputy Foreign Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee and Cambodia’s Environment Minister Eang Sophalleth last week.
The two countries aim to tackle the persistent problem of PM2.5 pollution that affects the region, especially during the cooler months. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has pledged to support the bilateral efforts by facilitating data exchange on pollution hotspots and providing necessary firefighting and agricultural management tools.
Thailand’s ambassador to Cambodia, Cherdkiat Atthakor, has also held discussions with Cambodia’s environment minister to ensure the sharing of hotspot information. Cambodia has launched the Blue Sky campaign to reduce farm waste burning and prevent wildfires as part of its commitment to cleaner air.
The upcoming visit of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet to Thailand will include talks with Thai PM Srettha Thavisin about forming a joint task force to combat haze pollution. They also plan a study tour to Sa Kaeo province, which is severely affected by PM2.5 pollution, to assess the situation firsthand.
Recent satellite imagery from the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) indicates high levels of PM2.5 in Thailand’s Northeast, with six provinces experiencing “red level” pollution. The collaboration between Thailand and Cambodia marks a significant step towards regional environmental health and safety.