1) Haze and Air Quality in Chiang Mai

Link to Full Policy Proposal: Haze and Air Quality in Chiang Mai

Link to Presentation Slides: Session 2 – Group 1

Session 2 - Group 1-01.jpg

Isaac Kumaran Wen Jun Raman-Seow, James Boon Hwee Tay, Lim Feng Ling, Richard Aboagye-Gyan, Tham Yin Yee

Annually, Chiang Mai is plagued by temporal bad ambient air quality between February and April. This is caused by multiple point and diffuse sources – local agricultural burning, vehicular emissions as well as burning in neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and the Laos. Poor air quality has adverse effects on environment, health and key industries including tourism.

An analysis of the underlying causes and stakeholders involved point to local agricultural burning, especially of corn waste, as the major contributor of poor air quality. This is inextricably tied to the livelihoods of the community where corn is a cash crop that is harvested several times in a year.

Existing interventions such as reforestation and on burning bans neglect the farmers’ dependence on corn for income. Instead, we explore an integrate, multi-pronged approach that addresses the collective nature of the problem. We propose to explore the feasibility of a decentralized model of composting (at the village level) as an alternative waste disposal to reduce the reliance on slash-and-burn practices, coupled with continued open burning ban as a deterrent. In assessing the long-term viability of this proposal, we identify the stakeholders involved and assess the conditions necessary.