The Thai Government plans to launch a major recovery program after flood water recedes. As for the post-flood recovery plan, Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan said that the project “New Thailand” was raised for discussion by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a special Cabinet meeting on 30 October 2011.
The project is meant to rebuild the country in accordance with a broad perspective, once the flooding has withdrawn. Information from various agencies and proposals from foreign countries would be brought up for discussion, as well. As for the rehabilitation of industrial estates, Mr. Pichai said that a budget of about 100 billion baht was expected in the short term.
No extension of the extra government holiday in 21 provinces.
Another 600-800 billion baht would be required in the long run. He said that the Ministry of Energy would launch a project to allow vocational students to help check and repair damaged machines, equipment, and even vehicles. The Ministry would also consider reducing the electricity rate in flood-stricken areas. At the same time, Mr. Pichai said that a great number of workers would be hired to rebuild various facilities, so this would also help stimulate the country’s economy. He said that Thailand had a large amount of reserve funds for use in post-flood rehabilitation, while several countries had also offered to provide financial support.
Following the special Cabinet meeting on October 30, Prime Minister Yingluck said that no extension for the extra government holiday would be announced. The Government earlier declared the period between October 27 and 31 an extra government holiday in 21 flood-hit provinces, including Bangkok.Despite no extension of the extra holiday, she called for cooperation from both the public and private sectors to allow their flood-affected staff time off, so that they would have a chance to look after their families during the flooding. Prime Minister Yingluck said that she held a meeting with the Water Management Committee every day to assess the situation.
The meeting heard a report that progress had been made on controlling the floods. For instance, the situation at Khlong 9 in Pathum Thani province is improving. However, the Government has alerted Bangkok residents living near canals in Bangkok to be braced for flooding. The Prime Minister urged local people in certain flood-hit areas not to destroy water barriers, as this would make flood control much more difficult.
She said that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had called her to express sympathy for Thailand and for Thai people suffering from floods. The Chinese Prime Minister also informed Prime Minister Yingluck that that China would provide more assistance in addition to aid already given. He believed that the Thai government would overcome this disaster and rebuild the country as soon as possible.
Disparity worsens ocean pollution
Most of the Thai marine waste is plastics led by plastic debris (12%), Styrofoam boxes (10%), food wrappers (8%), plastic bags (8%), glass bottles (7%), plastic bottles (7%), and straws (5%).
Ocean plastic pollution is threatening humanity and Thailand cannot escape the blame as one of the world’s worst marine polluters. Although the government has pledged to tackle marine pollution, one thing is certain. Success is out of reach if the state authorities fail to engage local communities as equal partners.(more…)
ASEAN takes on Circular Economy as part of priority agenda
The circular ‘reuse-reduce-recycle’ approach promotes a more efficient use of resources, thereby contributing to ASEAN Member States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, ASEAN Secretariat conducted an online workshop on Circular Economy. The workshop gathered relevant sectoral bodies to discuss the draft Framework for Circular Economy for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is one of the priority economic deliverables for Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year.(more…)
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