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Thai Seminar Raises Concerns about Waste-to-Energy Project
IPEN Participating Organization Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (EARTH) recently organized a seminar entitled "Good Governance in Sustainable Waste Management: the case of Chiang Rak Yai Waste-to-Energy Project" in collaboration with Puey Ungphakorn School of Development Studies and the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology. The seminar, held at Thammasat University, was attended by over 400 participants, including communities fighting against waste-to-energy/waste incinerator projects from 12 provinces across Thailand, Metropolitan Water Authority workers, government officials from the Department of Disease Control and other agencies, academics from several universities (who also brought their students), as well as the private sector.
Speakers (including EARTH Director Penchom Saetang) raised concern about the lack of transparency about the project's construction plans, the financial inefficiency of producing energy from waste, the lack of consideration for other waste management alternatives, the lack of public hearing and exclusion of local residents and farmers from the decision-making process, the lack of environmental impact assessment, and the danger of POPs contamination to the nearby raw water source which provides 70% of tap water for the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, or 12 million people.