The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supports AiroTEC CMRU in organizing activities to address air pollution issues and reduce agricultural burning area.

AiroTEC is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Thailand-Laos cooperation to innovate solutions to air pollution problems through the Clean Air Without Border initiative. AiroTEC has conducted activities utilizing rice straw to reduce burning in agricultural open areas. on February 8th, 2024 A.D. at Ban Ton Kam Rice Farmer Group, Khilek Sub-district, Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province. On this occasion, representatives from UNDP Thailand, including Ms. Patthamon Rungchuwanon and the UNDP team, had the honor to visit the project activities.



This event was attended by participants from various sectors including government agencies, private sector, cooperative groups, and communities, totaling 10 organizations, including: 1) Rice farmers group 2) Buyers of rice straw for briquettes 3) Cattle farmers 4) Community enterprise adding value to leaf litter from Sang Village 5) Mushroom cultivation group using rice staw from Dok Daeng Village 6) Chiang Mai Rajabhat University 7) Mae Rim District Agriculture Office 8) Officials from Khilek Sub-district Municipality 9) Chiang Mai Rice Seed Center 10) UNDP representatives. There were discussions aimed at integrating these organizations with the community to reduce burning in open areas, enhance knowledge, and raise awareness on preventing and addressing PM 2.5 air pollution issues.



In this community, a learning center has been established to utilize rice staw for reducing agricultural burning, located at Ban Ton Kam Village. Mrs. Paditha Kamsue is the leader of this learning center. Demonstrations on the utilization of rice straw to reduce burning were conducted, along with knowledge sharing from various networks including animal supplementary nutrition, composting and soil covering for plant cultivation, value addition through dishware production, benefits of rice straw briquettes, plowing rice fields with rice straw as fertilizer, and mushroom cultivation using rice straw. Additionally, educated on crop cultivation, maintenance, and the benefits of not burning rice straw by Mrs. Ratchaneewan Pengprom from Mae Rim District Agriculture Office, Mr. Tawan Wijarncharoen, an experienced agricultural specialist from Khilek Sub-district Municipality, Mr. Ekachai Pakdeerat, the director of Chiang Mai Rice Seed Center, and Ms. Teacher Piyawadee Nilsonthi from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. Furthermore, there were knowledge exchange sessions facilitated by community network members including Mrs. Samneang Nantikaew, a buyer of rice straw briquettes, Mr. Thaweesak Ongsirikul, a community enterprise leader adding value from leaf litter, and Mr. Kasem Panuanthit, the leader of the mushroom cultivation group using rice husks from Dok Daeng Village.



This project is a pioneering initiative led by Dr. Ratchaphon Samphutthanont from the AiroTEC Center (Asian Air Quality Operations Center by Space Technology, Geo-informatics & Environmental Engineering) at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. Collaborating with organizations and youth, including Mr. Sumet Janyae and Miss Tithirat Janpud, the project has been implemented in parallel with members of the Laos PDR Team at the pilot site of Nong Bua Wae Village, Pak San District, Bolikhamxai Province. This collaboration aims to establish a pilot project to promote the reduction of agricultural burning by fostering creative incentives for utilizing agricultural residue, specifically rice straw. The project will be presented to high-level executives, ambassadors, directors of UN agencies, and stakeholders in future opportunities. This cooperation is hoped to contribute significantly to supporting sustainable reduction of agricultural burning for long-term air quality improvement.



Photos and news by: Public Relations Team, AiroTEC Center, Chiang Mai Rajabhat University