BANGKOK (NNT) – In an effort to reduce forest fires and smog, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has launched a campaign to discourage farm burning, with targets to reduce hotspots by 20% and manage 1,000 tons of combustibles in forest areas.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE) expects its campaign to help alleviate air pollution, particularly the accumulation of PM 2.5 fine airborne particles caused by open air fires in the northern and northeastern regions.

Planned as a proactive approach to reducing forest fires and hotspots that often occur in national forests and on farmlands, the campaign encourages the practice of collecting combustible vegetation on the forest floor, instead of burning it. This combustible material can then be converted into charcoal, compost, or made into product packagings.

The MNRE has set a target to reduce hotspots in forest areas and farmlands by 20 percent, remove at least 100 tons of combustible material per province in 10 provinces, grow some 70,000 more plants, and create at least 130 forest fire management plans.

To achieve these goals, 370 forest fire surveillance networks will be established, along with the management of burning regulations and a forest fire warning system, as well as campaigns promoting forest conservation while discouraging forest burning.

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