As of recent, smog has spread widely over our neighbor, Thailand’s Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son, with many residents in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district forced to put on face masks and sunglasses to protect their eyes and noses. To that effect, Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency has been assigned to explore technical solutions to the problem, which also disrupts transportation and deters tourism in the North.
Interestingly, they’ve also launched their “Hunt the Smog” campaign – a project that involves the public’s participation and a reward system.
According to Thailand’s Science Minister Woravat Auapinyakul, who stated the following during the launch of “Hunt the Smog”:
We have found that most forest fires and started by people. We will take tough action against those lighting fires in forest zones to clear land for farming. Fires cause smog, which endangers the health of others.
How does it work, exactly?
Anyone who takes a photo of a forest fire and sends it to the authorities will be rewarded with Bt500 (about RM52) in cash. If the said picture leads to the arrest of arsonists, the reward will jump to Bt5,000 (about RM524). If the picture was among the first 10 submissions, the reward will double up to Bt10,000 (about RM1,048).
As for the arsonists, if caught, they will face a fine of up to Bt50.000 (about RM5,240) and up to six years in jail.