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Title: Developing an integrated framework for the policy development of vegetation in the north of Thailand
Author: Yensong, Sirirat
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 6160
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Vegetation fires are an important source of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Every year in the fire season from February to April, the dry and stagnant weather in the north of Thailand allows the PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm) from vegetation fires to accumulate in the atmosphere at concentrations higher than the national ambient standard of Thailand of 120 μg/m3. This affects public health in terms of respiratory illnesses and premature deaths and necessitates fire management by the Government. This study has applied air quality models to investigate forest fire emissions in eight provinces in the north region of Thailand and neighbouring countries and cost-benefit analysis for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of the government policy. The integrated framework between the use of air quality models to reduce emissions to meet the air quality standard and the cost-benefit of the government intervention has created the framework of the policy. Results from the model simulation show that PM10 from nearby countries was less affected than the local PM10. After simulating fire controls in agricultural areas and forest areas within a range of 1 km of agricultural areas scenario and fire controls in agricultural areas and forest areas within a range of 1 km and the neighbouring countries scenario, PM10 concentrations results from both scenarios are the same condition with >120 μg/m3 in many areas. For fires controlled agricultural areas and forest areas within a range of 4 km, PM10 have decreased until below 120 μg/m3 in every district area. In addition, meteorology is an important factor for the smoke problem in this study area. A few hot spots in the area can have high concentrations of PM10 because the meteorology tends to be stagnant causing the fire smoke to be trapped near the ground surface. However, fire control agricultural areas and forest areas within a range of 1 and 4 km are possible actions that could solve this problem effectively in a term of the economical investment. Fires are needed for some vegetation ecosystems and used to decrease the severity of forest fires in Thailand. Therefore, the suggested policy framework is divided into two plans: zero burning during, and quota burning outside of, the fire season. This work provides a practical case study of effective integrated air quality management and socio-economic evaluation for the development of a multi-faceted environmental policy in a rapidly developing country.
Supervisor: Williams, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available