EARTH Thailand

Communities in Action

Many local communities are threatened by the increasing numbers and severe impacts of industrial plants. Although the situations on the grounds have always been difficult for local people to handle with, there are several local communities are unite and together fighting against the industrial investments that create or may cause the harmful impacts to their health as well as their environment and livelihood. While some communities are struggling to stop the expansion of the industrial areas, several communities are also fighting to demand the accountability from those factories or projects that have caused toxic pollution.

Strengthening the capacity of communities to enable to monitor the toxic pollution in order to protect their rights and livelihood, as well as researching on pollutants in the environment and publicize these knowledges are our foundation’s main mission. In addition, EARTH also cooperate and work with the affected communities, civil society organizations as well as the academics both domestically and internationally in order to empower the local communities with knowledge and understanding, and provide them some tools of how to monitor, examine, and watch over the toxic industrial pollutants.   



Voices from the Ground: : Concerns Over the Dawei Special Economic Zone and Related Projects

Dawei Development Association (DDA), September 2014

This report examines the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) project in Southern Myanmar, which, if realized, would be one of the largest petrochemical industrial estates in South East Asia. It presents the results of a quantitative and qualitative study, aimed at understanding the process by which the DSEZ project has unfolded, and the extent to which the rights of the local people are being protected and respected by the relevant States and corporations in the implementation of the project.


Map Ta Phut has 'soured Japanese investors'

The Nation 07 January 2010 | Nalin Viboonchart

Thailand is no longer the most attractive Asian destination for Japanese investors, thanks to the Map Ta Phut fiasco, Munenori Yamada, president of the Japan External Trade Organisation's Bangkok office, said yesterday.


Environment issue at hand

The Nation 06 January 2010 

About 20 villagers from Map Ta Phut were today in Bangkok, asking for participation in the panel.


Ministry rejects local pollution plan

Bangkok Post 07 January 2010 | Apinya Wipatayotin

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has rejected a local plan to reduce pollution at Map Ta Phut, claiming a "lack of sound measures to tackle industrial pollution".


Panel to propose pollution control tactics for Map Ta Phut

The Nation 29 April 2010   

A subpanel will propose measures on tackling pollution in Rayong's Map Ta Phut area before the end of next month.

The subpanel would work under a fourpart committee that is chaired by former prime minister Anand Panyarachun and was established after the Central Administrative Court suspended dozens of industrial projects in the heavily polluted Map Ta Phut area.


Chemical Plant Shut, Faces Probe Over Leak

The Nation 09 June 2010   

Due to the leak, 299 people were hospitalised. Dozens of them were still in hospitals as of press time yesterday.

The factory is located inside the Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Rayong.

In the wake of the incident, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand governor Monta Pranootnorapal ordered the suspension of the factory's operations and an investigation into the incident.


Panel finalises harmful industrial activities List

Bangkok Post 07 June 2010  

Map Ta Phut residents say safeguards still missing

RAYONG : The four-party panel working on solving Map Ta Phut's pollution problems has finalised a draft list of activities it considers harmful to the environment and public health.


Govt moves to end Map Ta Phut saga

Bangkok Post 01 September 2010

Cabinet approves list of harmful industries

The government has taken another step towards ending the Map Ta Phut saga by approving a list of 11 industrial activities deemed harmful to the environment.


Most Map Ta Phut projects off hook

Bangkok Post 03 September 2010

Rayong villagers react emotionally, slam govt

The Administrative Court has ordered the operating permits of only two industrial projects in the Map Ta Phut area to be terminated, allowing 74 other earlier-suspended projects to go ahead.

The court on Thursday handed down its ruling in the case filed by Map Ta Phut villagers and the Stop Global Warming Association against eight state agencies in June last year.


Forget Klong Dan, look at the Gulf of Thailand

Bangkok Post 21 August 2015 | Anchalee Kongrut

For some, the old adage, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," can be applied to the Klong Dan water treatment project saga.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's plan to conduct a study into how to make best use of the project in Samut Prakan province, which was built in 1998 but never opened, has triggered worries it could end up as another "stupidity fee" for the state. It has also revived fears by locals that the plant, which they opposed years ago on environmental grounds, could once again pose a threat to the Gulf of Thailand.


Supreme court acquits all protesters in Hat Yai gas pipeline riot

Bangkok Post 21 October 2015 | Achara Ashayagachat

SONGKHLA — The Supreme Court has dismissed riot charges against all 32 defendants arising from their protest in Hat Yai against the Thai-Malaysian gas project 13 years ago, in a ruling delivered on Wednesday.

The court in Songkhla spent two hours reading out the judgement, which upheld the acquittals handed down by the two lower courts. The demonstrators included villagers, researchers, community and religious leaders, and NGO activists.


Border trade plans leave locals in flux

Bangkok Post 26 October 2015 | Paritta Wangkiat

Residents ponder their fate as the state forges ahead with SEZ.

Walk through any farmland in Mae Sot district's Tha Sai Luat at the end of the rainy season this year, you're unlikely to step on ripening produce. You're more likely to encounter muddy, empty land.


Map Ta Phut verdict due today

The Nation 02 December 2009 

All parties are hopeful the Supreme Administrative Court today will clear up confusion over the future of the 76 suspended industrial projects in Map Ta Phut.


Mae Mo battle ends in win for villagers: Court tells Egat to pay damages for pollution


The long-running Mae Mo power plant battle has ended in victory for 477 Lampang villagers after the Administrative Court ordered the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to pay them compensation.


Rare triumph for the little people

Bangkok Post 05 March 2009 | Veera Prateepchaikul

The rulings by the Rayong and Chiang Mai administrative courts should not be mistaken as a bad omen for investors, that their industrial projects are not welcome here. They are still welcome but, well, with a condition that they will not cause pollution that will contaminate our environment and threaten the health of the people.


More than 2,000 Locals Protest Cement Factory in Mon State

The Irrawaddy 21 July 2017 | Hintharnee

MOULMEIN, Mon State — More than 2,000 locals from villages in Kyaikmayaw and Moulmein townships staged a protest march in Moulmein on Friday against a cement factory’s coal-fired power plant.

This is the second protest against the US$400 million, 500-ton cement factory, run by Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) – a joint venture between Thai firm Siam Cement Group (SCG) and Pacific Link Cement Industries.


Seven female activists sued after leading protest against Loei gold-mining plan national

25 July 2017 | The Nation  

Seven female activists from Loei province are being sued for allegedly violating the Public Assembly Act, after they led local residents in demonstrating against a Tambon Administrative Organisation (TAO) meeting held to authorise the use of national preserved-forest land and Agricultural Land Reform Office land for gold mining.


Sampling and its principles

By Jan  Nezhyba, Program Toxic Substances and Waste, Arnika, 2013

This presentation describes the whole complete sampling process and how to handle the sampling plan.


Locals pay the price as junta pushes for Songkhla SEZ

Prachatai 31 October 2016 | Kongpob Areerat

In a bid to lure investors, Thailand’s junta plans to evict some 300 citizens from their homes to construct a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the southern province of Songkhla. While the military’s development plans could boost a stalled economy, the country’s poor are paying the price.


Villagers protesting Thai gold mine ‘attacked by armed and masked men’

Asian Correspondent 19 May 2014 | Saksith Saiyasombut  

Large groups of masked and armed men have reportedly attacked locals blocking a road to a disputed gold mine in the northern Thai province of Loei last week, detaining and injuring several dozen villagers. While the numbers of assailants and victims vary in news reports, the descriptions do confirm a lot of common traits in the attackers:


After 10-year battle, power plant victims win Bt25 million

The Nation 26 February 2015 | Chularat Saengpassa, Patinya

MORE THAN 100 people living near the Mae Moh power plant in Lampang province have finally won a 10-year-long battle against the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), with the Supreme Administrative Court awarding them a total of Bt25 million.


Locals want coal mining in Dawei halted

Myanmar Eleven News / The Nation 02 November 2015 | Khine Kyaw

As a controversial coal-mining project implicating Thai companies in the remote Ban Chaung area of Dawei District resumed its operations last week, local residents and civil society organisations called for an immediate halt to all activities until a full assessment is conducted.


Mining in Taninthayi sows friction between residents and KNU

Myanmar Eleven News / The Nation 29 November 2014 | Phyo Zin

DAWEI – The residents of Khamaung Thwe village and civic organizations have denounced the exploitation of mineral resources by Karen National Union (KNU) and local entrepreneurs in the area. The village is located in the Myitta village tract in Dawei District.


Dawei residents up in arms over coal-mining project

Myanmar Eleven News / The Nation 20 October 2014 | Phyo Zin

Dawei residents have rejected a coal-mining project, jointly carried out by Thailand's Easter Co and local company May Flower Mining Enterprises. 

The two companies did not inform local residents of the project’s advantages and disadvantages before they started the operations since the beginning of 2011. The companies have been accused of having no environmental consideration for the lives and properties of local people.


Dawei residents seek int'l standards for development project

The Nation 10 October 2014

Dawei Development Association (DDA), the gathering of local residents, yesterday issued a statement, urging leaders of Thailand and Myanmar to delay reviving the Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) development project until the problems associated with the project are resolved.


Dawei residents seek Thai PM's attention

Myanmar Eleven News/ The Nation 07 October 2014

Dawei Development Group, a group of local residents in Dawei, plans to issue an open letter to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, urging him to solve conflicts before pushing for the resumption of the project development. 


Govt to fork out B9bn for Klong Dan

Bangkok Post 07 August 2015 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Consortium agrees to cut interest bill

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will find nine billion baht from its budget to pay the NVPSKG consortium, the contractor of the canned multi-billion-baht Klong Dan waste water treatment plant in Samut Prakan province, months after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled it to do so, a senior ministry official said yesterday.


Officials fear new plan for Klong Dan

Bangkok Post 16 August 2015 | Apinya Wipatayotin

B315m sought for waste water study

A 315-million-baht plan to conduct a new study for the controversial Klong Dan waste water treatment project has many top bureaucrats afraid of another failure, a senior government official said yesterday.


Court suspends 76 projects in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate

Thai News Agency 29 September 2009

BANGKOK (TNA) – Thailand’s Central Administrative Court on Tuesday ordered 76 industrial projects in Map Ta Phut industrial estate in the eastern province of Rayong to temporarily halt operating amid continual concern about critical environmental and health impacts.


Villagers win pollution case

Bangkok Post 04 March 2009 | APINYA WIPATAYOTIN  

The Administrative Court has ruled in favour of villagers in Rayong province, ordering the National Environment Board to declare the area near Map Ta Phut industrial estate a pollution control zone.

Twenty-seven villagers from 11 communities around the industrial estate in Muang district filed the case in October 2007, accusing the NEB of negligence for failing to designate the area as a pollution control zone.


Cases of blood contamination


NEARLY HALF of the people living near a gold mine in Phichit province have been found to have abnormally high levels of manganese in their blood as indicated by a study run by Rangsit University.

420 of the people tested had higher than normal levels of manganese. "About 19.52 per cent of those who provided blood samples also have abnormally high levels of arsenic in their blood. The level of cyanide is higher tha normal in 5.88 per cent,"


Locals urge court to scrap regime power plant order

Bangkok Post 19 April 2016 | WRITER: APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Local communities and environmentalists petitioned the Supreme Administrative Court Monday to revoke a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) directive waiving city planning regulations to facilitate waste-to-energy plant projects.

Locals say their land and ability to farm it have been hindered by the disruption caused by the transportation and processing of the 1,800 tonnes of rubbish that the plant collects every day from the province to fuel the facility.


Activists baulk at new mining legislation

Bangkok Post 04 April 2016 | Ariane Kupferman-Sutthavong

A mineral bill proposed by the Ministry of Industry passed its first hearing in parliament last month, but environmentalists and activists warn it could lead to the destruction of protected natural resources and human rights violations.

The draft legislation is flawed and lacks safeguards on health and the environment, said Supaporn Malailoy, EnLaw Foundation manager. But more importantly, it does not allow for the input of local communities in decision-making concerning new mining sites.


New mining bill pleases businesses, but harms society: Civil society groups

Prachatai 03 August 2016

More than a dozen of civil society groups have urged the Thai authorities not the pass the new Mining Bill, saying that while deregulating red tapes for mining businesses, the bill will do more harm than good to the society.

Khon Rak Baan Koed Group (KRBK), anti-mine activist group comprise residents of six villages of Wang Saphung District of the northeastern province of Loei, the Assembly of NGOs for the Protection and Conservation of Environment and Natural Resources (ANPCENR) and 27 other civil society groups on Tuesday, 2 August 2016, submitted a joint petition to Surachai Liengboonlertchai, Deputy Head of the National Legislative Assembly


MWA opposes waste-fired power plant

Bangkok Post 08 April 2016 | Writer: Apinya Wipatayotin

Agency worried about risk to water supply

The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA), a state enterprise under the Interior Ministry, opposes the planned construction of a waste-fired power plant in tambon Chiang Rak Yai of Pathum Thani's Sam Khok district, it said Tuesday.

Chaiwat Vorapeboonpong, assistant to the MWA governor, said the MWA joined residents in tambon Chiang Rak Yai in moving against the project which would pose a threat to the Sam-Lae Raw water pump station, the biggest raw water source in the area, which serves milli

Call For Protection: Locals Affected In Dawei SEZ Concern Over Compensation

Myanmar ITV, 07 March 2016

A Dawei Development Association-DDA report released Monday suggests, the Dawei Special Economic Zone has caused some negative impacts to locals, especially on the lack of transparency, consistency, and negotiations on compensation for affected lands.


Dawei locals, CSOs raise concerns over violation of human rights

MYANMAR ELEVEN 10 March 2016

CIVIL SOCIETY organisations (CSOs) and local residents living near the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have called for action from the Japanese, Myanmar and Thai governments to tackle human rights violations before allowing the project to resume.


Plaintiffs in Klity Creek case triumph after 13-year effort


Supreme court's 'historic' verdict includes bt20.2M compensation, mandatory clean-up pf contamination and blame for executives.

A 13-YEAR-LONG court battle with a lead-mining company has finally come to an end for people from the Lower Klity village in Kanchaburi province, as the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that residents will be compensated and executives forced to fund the clean up of Klity Creek.


Final ruling on Klity Creek compensation case

Bangkok Post 14 July 2016

The Supreme Court on Thursday reduced a compensation claim in the Klity Creek poisoning scandal from 29 million baht to 20 million baht, and ended a 13-year legal battle.

The case was first brought to Kanchanaburi Provincial Court in early 2003 by eight Karen villagers living at Klity Lang, a remote village in a national forest in Kanchanaburi's Thong Pha Phum district. The eight plaintiffs are four adults and four children who have developed chronic diseases associated with lead poisoning. They were represented by two solicitors from the Lawyers Council of Thailand. 


PM: Pollution ruling is a threat


Delays in investment by state-owned energy giant PTT Plc could jeopardise the national economy, warns Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

PTT's investment plans were thrown into disarray this week when the Rayong Administrative Court ruled the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong should be designated a pollution-control zone.


Egat insists on going ahead with Thepa plant

The Nation 25 August 2016 | Pratch Rujivanarom

CONSTRUCTION of the Thepa coal-fired power plant is set to begin in the second quarter of next year, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) said, even though many locals have refused to sell their land despite facing threats.


Isaan anti-mine activists countersue gold mine company

Prachatai 13 September 2016 

Anti-mine activists in Isaan, fired back against a mining company, demanding the company 3.18 million baht for judicially harassing them.


Locals oppose PM's call to revive Klong Dan

Bangkok Post 14 August 2015 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Repair bill, risk to coast ecology 'huge'

Residents living near the Klong Dan waste water treatment facility in tambon Klong Dan of Samut Prakan's Bang Bo district say they oppose the government's plan to dust off the suspended scandal-hit project.

Dawan Chantarahassadi, a key leader who opposed the project, said she and other residents would not take the decision lying down.


Dept mulls Klong Dan waste water plan

Bangkok Post 28 November 2015 | Apinya Wipatayotin

The Department of Pollution Control is considering a new option to discharge treated water from the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant to nearby agricultural land and factories, instead of releasing it into the sea.


Officials face Klong Dan rap

Bangkok Post 19 November 2015 | Apinya Wipatayotin

Govt will demand guilty pay B9bn fine

Officials found to be involved with the scandal-hit Klong Dan waste water treatment plant in Samut Prakan will be held responsible for huge fees incurred by the government for breach of contract.


Calls grow to delay Klong Dan payout

Bangkok Post 20 November 2015| Apinya Wipatayotin

Civil society groups yesterday urged the government to hold off paying 9.8 billion baht to the NVPSKG consortium until the Supreme Court finishes investigating the 19 officials involved in the graft-plagued Klong Dan wastewater-treatment plant project.

Penchome Sae-Tang, director of Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (Earth), yesterday said she opposed the cabinet resolution on Tuesday that approved the payout in the long-running legal dispute.  It is to be made in three payments in both baht and US dollars starting on Saturday, with a 3.2 billion baht and $21.7 million (778 million baht) transfer.


Punish Klong Dan cheaters


Bangkok Post 19 November 2015 

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget of 9.8 billion baht to be disbursed from the Central Fund for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to pay the NVPSKG consortium for the construction of the Klong Dan waste water treatment project in Samut Prakan province as ordered by the Administrative Court.


EPA faces first lawsuit over Colorado mine spill 15 January 2016 | Cecilia Jamasmie

The state of New Mexico plans to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over last year’s toxic Colorado mining spill that sent 3 million gallons of waste into the Animas and San Juan rivers.


Activists blast S44 use to kick-start power projects

Bangkok Post 23 January 2016 

PM moves to 'secure Thai energy sector'

Environmental activists and community residents have voiced opposition to the orders issued under Section 44 of the interim charter to clear the way for the construction of several power plants stalled by protests.

They called on the prime minister to review the order, saying that allowing the projects to go ahead would do more harm than good as they would lead to environmental problems and have a negative impact on people's health.


Charter writers agree to spell out community rights

Bangkok Post 22 February 2016 | Mongkol Bangprapa

The Constitution Drafting Committee has agreed to spell out in the new draft communities' right to sue state agencies and the requirement for environmental and health impact assessments for all large projects following numerous complaints.


Environmentalists slam draft charter

Bangkok Post 18 February 2016 | Paritta Wangkiat

Groups decry lack of community rights

Environmental activists are calling for revisions to the draft charter, saying it will undermine community rights by not sufficiently protecting and managing natural resources.


Seminar seeks to shine spotlight on mercury-linked Minamata disease

Kyodo  07 September 2016 | Keiji Hirano

Victims, researchers and academics will on Saturday gather in Bangkok for a seminar marking the 60th anniversary since the discovery of mercury poisoning malady Minamata disease.

To be held at Chulalongkorn University, speakers will include Shinobu Sakamoto, a Kumamoto Prefecture native who contracted Minamata disease, which paralyzes the central nervous system and causes birth defects, in the womb.


Residents claim potash mines causing problems

The Nation 01 September  2016 | Pratch Rujivanarom

TRANSPARENCY and strict environmental regulations are needed to avoid problems between local communities and potash mines, an academic said recently.

Rungreung Lertsirivorakul, a geologist at Khon Kaen University, said mining companies should make their operation plans clear to the public to avoid problems, adding that suspicious and hidden strategies would only give rise to conflicts.


Gold mine protesters hurt by armed mob and shady deals

By The Isaan Record  20 May 2014

LOEI— Charging with clubs, broken bottles, slingshots, and guns, approximately 300 masked men descended on Na Nong Bong community at 10 p.m. on May 15, villagers claim. Moving under the cover of darkness, and suspected of cutting power to the village, these men had the tactical edge over community members keeping watch at three checkpoints along the road to a controversial mine in Khao Luang District.