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Chiang Mai authorities buying dead leaves to prevent forest fires

Chiang Mai authorities are buying dried leaves from villagers in a measure to tackle forest fires and pollution caused by locals burning dead vegetation in the province.


Chiang Mai city has topped the world air pollution rankings this month as burning fields and forests shroud the province in toxic haze.


In response, the local Natural Resources and Environment office has launched a scheme in 34 villages allowing residents to sell leaves and agricultural waste from forests and farms.


The scheme, which kicked off on March 15, had collected 16.69 tonnes of dead leaves as of Wednesday and is targeting a total of around 50 million tonnes.


The annual burning season stirs up toxic PM2.5 haze across northern provinces every year, bringing a spike in respiratory problems for local residents.


Some of the forest fires occur naturally but many are set by hunters to smoke out wildlife.

Published : March 27, 2021