The sub-grants programme aims to increase technical, operational and management capacity of grassroots community groups by financing small-scale community initiatives in environmental and health surveillance and community right-to-know advocacy. In a similar way, Arnika and EARTH have previously supported, through EU funds, communities in Prachinburi, Chonburi, Samut Sakhon, and Loei. All of them helped form successful and sustainable movements, and some even achieved favored judicial results regarding compensation for water pollution.
Water pollution still an important issue
This year, four environmental groups have received funding from the sub-grants programme. Two of them will deal with water contamination, its monitoring and proposing appropriate action to protect the local water sources. The organisations are Khon Phanom, active in the Phanom Sarakham district and the Surface Water Monitoring Network, active in three districts - Ban Khai, Pluak Daeng, and Nikhom Pattana.
Public health and community activism
Other two projects that received funding will deal with the issues of public health and community activism. Huay Sua Ten and Khok Hin Khao Conservation Group has been successful in the past in a fight against the proposed tapioca starch factory in Khok Hin Khao area, which resulted in halting the construction of the factory. The organisation will now focus on public health problems, for example, proposing proactive prevention measurement by encouraging the public health agency to conduct blood tests for people, and to conduct blood tests annually.
Community Organization of Nong Chumpol Nuea Subdistrict works in one of the target areas for waste recycling industry. It will focus on information to the community on their rights, environmental law, waste management, climate crisis and the impacts of climate changes. The organisation will also monitor the wrongdoing of factories and its goal is a better collaboration from all sectors to protect environment in the area.
Unregulated industrial development in Thailand takes its toll on the environment and health of communities close to the polluting facilities. Czech environmental NGO Arnika (Toxics and Waste Programme) has been collaborating with Thai organisation EARTH for several years, enabling Thai communities affected by industrial pollution to generate scientific evidence, broaden awareness about emerging environmental and health damages from industrial pollution and promote corporate accountability.
(1) Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH) is an independent non-governmental organization striving for social and environmental sustainability and justice in Thai society. EARTH serves as a watchdog monitoring the Thai government’s industrialization policy, industrial pollution and unsustainable consumption patterns. It also promotes climate justice, good governance and accountability of governmental and international agencies. The main target of EARTH’s interest is the impacts of hazardous substances on ecosystems, local communities and workers’ health.Read more at: http://www.earththailand.org/en.
(2) Czech non-governmental organization Arnika focuses on nature conservation, toxics and waste management, and public participation in decision making on environmental issues. During its existence, Arnika has become a valued European NGO in terms of fighting against toxic substances and chemicals or unsafe contamination of environment and enhancing spreading the right to know information about chemical pollution. The organization cooperates with number of partners around the globe (e.g. in Ukraine, Armenia or Bosnia and Herzegovina) to provide better and healthier future for as many as possible no matter the geographical location.
(3) This activity is part of the “Public participation through citizen science and EIA system enhancement” project funded by the European Union (EU) and co-funded by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (THPF) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Framework of the Transition Promotion Programme – a financial assistance programme supporting democracy and human rights using the Czech Republic’s experience with social transition and democratization.