Chiang Mai Breathe Council’s spending

 | Fri 2 Oct 2020 15:33 ICT

The Chiang Mai Breathe Council came into being last September, in response to the need to have one major representative of the voices of the people in this critical matter which is air pollution.

The group was founded with the aim to comprise its most active members from the private sector, academia, NGOs, government sectors and community leaders, with the aim to become the voice to represent all of our voices.

During the press announcement in September of last year, the council said that it had a two-pronged approach to the issue. The first was to get the government on board in terms of funding and changes in law and policy and secondly to create a social movement to raise awareness and to educate.

The priority of the council is to cut through the conflicting data and self-interest to create a definitive set of standards on air pollution as well as to generate data on the real health risks and threats of the pollution without any pressure of nor consideration for how it will affect tourism. This data, along with solutions, projects and ideas, will be taken to the central government.

Here is its published financial spending so far this year:

Income generated from:

Buddhist ceremony event: 317,365 baht

Art Auction for Air, an event held late last year 5,000,000 baht

Chiang Mai Breathe Council members’ various fundraising activities (Chiang Mai Musicians / Biochar Team) 112,170 baht

Donation from March through to August 2020 23,136,049 baht

To date the council has received 28,565,584 baht in funding.

So, what have they done about it all? What are their policies, their strategy, their aim?

Well, as far as we can tell, it is very unclear. The money has been spent on an assortment of activities, championed by its various committee members, each, by the looks of it, with a different agenda.

Expenses to date:

Blowers, fire suppression equipment / fire protection fund to support the victims and their families 2,338,462 baht

Art for Air project 2,723,064 baht (Cost of art auction / Climate change & smoke pollution animation / Regional Art Installation for Air event)

Long-term problem solving project in suburb areas and sustainable communities 1,939,020 baht (Promote Biochar fertiliser making / Fire and smoke management plan in 34 pilot sub-districts expanded to 101 sub-districts / Urban projects 1,578,750 baht)