Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies
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Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies

State, Time and Regional Experiences

Edited by Tadayoshi Terao and Tsuruyo Funatsu

This unique book traces the origins and evolution of environmental policy formation, comparing the differences in this process between developing and developed countries. It focuses on the importance of the state’s role and issues of timing and sequence in the creation of environmental policies.
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Chapter 5: The Map Ta Phut pollution dispute in Thailand: a turning point toward more comprehensive pollution control

Tsuruyo Funatsu

Abstract

The Map Ta Phut Air Pollution Lawsuit in 2009 was the first case in Thailand in which environmental concerns took precedence over national economic priorities by an order of the Central Administrative Court. The activities of mega enterprises in the industrial estate were suspended for several months, and new investment projects were halted. The case also signifies path dependence in Thai pollution management, where the authority of the Ministry of Industry (MOI) exceeds that of environmental agencies. Since the promulgation of the 1975 environmental law, Thailand has adopted a dual system to deal with industrial pollution by paralleling the authority of the MOI with that of environmental agencies. After this lawsuit, the MOI introduced the concept of “Eco-industrial Towns” and started a system for controlling the VOC emissions in the area. The institutional authority at the initial stage in many ways impacts the later enforcement of pollution management in Thailand.

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