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"Stop the Burning" Project Ignites

On Thursday, March 17, I had the honor of attending an environmental seminar sponsored by the United States Consulate General in Chiang Mai. The Rotary Club of Lampang’s STOP THE BURNING! project was very well received by all in attendance, including The Consulate’s Green Team, Dr. Tipapawan Prapamontel from Chiang Mai University, and many more.

The first phase of STOP THE BURNING! will take place in Lampang and will hopefully spread to Chiang Mai and then on to all of Northern Thailand. The idea is to provide local farmers with shredders so that they can shred their crop waste rather than burn it.

The first steps are about gaining support. President Boonkoom of the Rotary Club of Lampang tells me 14 Rotary clubs in District 3360 have agreed to support this project. There is another in District 3350. CMIRC is just one of the 14. The exact details have yet to be worked out; expect to hear more at the Club Assembly on 29 March and the Board Meeting on 8 April.

The next step is to work with Maris Marchitelli to make a video about the shredder. This will be used in future awareness campaigns. The hope is for The Rotary Club of Lampang to host a Global Grant with perhaps 100 other Thai Rotary Clubs, plus many others from outside of Thailand.

Does this sound like a pipe dream to you? Are you thinking it can’t be done? It’s too difficult? Isn’t that what people told the Wright brothers, Edison and many others? Will this be difficult? Oh Hell Yes! Did I just say “hell?” Oops pardon my potty mouth, but “hell” is exactly what the air pollution is for many. Just today I heard many statistics about air pollution and the damage it does to you and to our community. Rotarians are intelligent, spirited, hard working people. We can do this!

Brushfires are a common sight along the back roads of northern Thailand every dry season.


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