EARTH Thailand

World Environmental Day: NGOs Launch Toxic Hot Spots Application to Enhance Public Right-to-Know

05 June 2023 
On the occasion of the World Environment Day, a new web application is set to be launched in Thailand, aiming to raise awareness about the pollution caused by industrial activities in certain locations within the country. Managed by the NGO EARTH Thailand, and designed in cooperation with Czech NGO Arnika Association, the application will be available in both Thai and English, ensuring accessibility to a wider audience.
This innovative tool allows users to explore and gather information about specific sites affected by industrial operations. The application offers various search options, such as filtering sites by industry type, allowing users to focus on areas where recycling facilities are active, etc. Additionally, users can search based on the presence of hazardous substances, such as heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), identified in particular sites.
The test version of the web application is available at The list of hot spots is expected to grow as Thai citizens as well as EARTH members contribute more information. The application already offers valuable insights into notable hot spots, such as Khao Hin Sorn, Chachoengsao, where contamination of POPs from electronic waste recycling had penetrated the local food chain. By providing this information, the application serves as a vital tool in supporting the rights of citizens in Thailand to access relevant data regarding environmental concerns in their areas.
The introduction of this web application not only highlights the significance of the World Environment Day but also emphasizes the importance of empowering communities through access to information. By enabling users to explore the environmental issues related to specific industries or hazardous substances, the application empowers individuals to make informed decisions and take necessary actions.
“In Thailand, the public lacks access to pollution information. In our work we constantly found new hot spots for pollution. The number is increasing. That is why we worked with Arnika Association to develop this new tool to enhance right-to-know. As more hotspots are added to this map, civil society, government agencies, and the public can begin to grasp the extent of Thailand’s pollution crisis, and work together to find solutions.” Penchom Saetang, Director of EARTH said.
The web application represents an attempt by Thai civil society to improve citizen’s access to information. Currently, the website is still being tested out. More improvement and information will be added at a later time.
“It is also important to highlight that while this map is a step towards curing the lack of informational access regarding pollution in Thailand, it is not the ultimate solution. With this map, we are working with limited information. This is because Thailand still does not have a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) system, which will guarantee that factories and other polluters report the information about the waste and pollution they release to government agencies, and then mandate those agencies to publicize that information.”
“A PRTR law will complement this application by pushing for citizen’s right to know, paving the way for a more informed and engaged society in addressing environmental challenges.” Penchom concluded.
Currently, EARTH is working with ENLAWTHAI Foundation (มูลนิธินิติธรรมสิ่งแวดล้อม - EnLAW)and Greenpeace Thailand to push for a PRTR law in Thailand.