Amid mounting concerns about environmental issues, a growing number of people in China are starting to take the fight against pollution into their own hands. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and volunteer groups focused on environmental protection have been sprouting up around the country over the past few years. Most are engaged in detection efforts and conducting their own research on industrial pollution that is often ignored by the government.
Wichan Khantuwarn, 65, a native of Trat, has felt uneasy since he learned of the government’s decision to set up special economic zones (SEZs) and name the small, easternmost province as one of 10 designated areas. Local people have also voiced concerns that the environment and ecology in Khlong Yai will worsen because of the SEZ.