PRTR Law and Citizen Participation Needed to Solve Thailand’s Industrial Pollution
PRESS RELEASE 02 July 2022
Bangkok/ Prague – EARTH Thailand , together with Arnika Association (Czech Republic) , call on the Thai parliament and government to accept the upcoming citizen’s draft of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) act. The PRTR law provides a legal mechanism that will help public and private actors reduce industrial pollution, while guaranteeing citizen’s right-to-know and public participation. It is a necessary step to solve the ongoing industrial pollution crisis and push the nation towards sustainable development.
On July 3rd, 2022, the CSOs network will hold a press conference and seminar at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC) to introduce the draft bill to the public. Communities affected by industrial pollution will be there to support the draft bill. On the next day (July 4th, 2022), the CSOs network will submit the draft bill for consideration by the Speaker of the House of Parliament. If the draft bill is approved at this stage, it will be open for signatures by the public. This process ensures the bill is endorsed by citizens, and is enshrined in Thailand 2021’s Initiative Process Act B.E. 2564.
Ever since the 1992 Earth Summit, nations around the world have been moving to create their own system of Pollutant Release and Transfer Register or PRTR. The PRTR system ensures that sources of pollutants, industries and otherwise, report information on storage, transport, and release of toxic chemicals to the government and the public. Today, most OECD nations have a PRTR system. Experiences from those nations show that PRTR help reduce industrial emission and safeguard citizen’s health through access to information.
Thailand is facing its own industrial pollution crisis, but still lacks a PRTR law to mitigate the problem. Therefore, EARTH - Thailand and allied civil society organizations (CSOs) networks have drafted the “Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Act”, which will enshrine the PRTR system into Thai law.
“For many decades, communities have been affected by industrial wastes, chemical explosions and leakages. Meanwhile, state actors and the general public often lack information on what pollutants and toxic wastes are being released to the environment.” Said Penchom Saetang, Director of EARTH. “The PRTR law is a way forward to solve this problem.”
“In the Czech Republic, i.e. throughout the EU, we have very good experience with PRTR. It gives the governments a better idea, and most importantly, control over industrial emissions. It also serves the public sector and as our experience shows, so does the industry. Thanks to the PRTR, the industrial facilities gain an overview of what substances and how much they emit, how other facilities perform in emissions, where they can be improved. In our studies, we have found that the environmental impact of industrial emissions is really significant in Thailand. The sooner Thailand implements the PRTR, the better,” says Miroslava Jopkova, a coordinator of a project in which Arnika, together with the Thai partner organization EARTH, focuses on industrial pollution.
EARTH and Arnika – as partner NGOs that have worked to combat industrial pollution in Thailand by encouraging citizen’s right-to-know and public participation – call upon the Thai parliament and government to accept this bill, so that citizens can voice their support of this vital law.
Disclaimer: This press release was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Arnika Association and EARTH Thailand and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
“Public participation through citizen science and EIA system enhancement” projects funded by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program.
 Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) is an independent non-governmental organization striving for social and environmental sustainability and justice in Thai society. EARTH focuses on the impacts of hazardous substances on ecosystems, local communities and workers’ health. Read more at www.earththailand.org/en.
 The Czech non-governmental organization Arnika focuses on nature conservation, toxics and waste management, industrial pollution, and public participation in decision making on environmental issues. The organization cooperates with a number of partners around the globe (e.g. in Ukraine, Armenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) to provide a better and healthier future for as many as possible, regardless of the geographical location. Read more at www.arnika.org/en