Applied Environmental Research

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Thailand'smining industry has always been considered as an industrial activity generating significant environmental burdens. This is because environmental management in the sectorwas given lower prioritycompared with economic benefits. The resulting adverse environmental effects in areas surrounding some mining areas required government interventions.Accordingly, the sustainable development of mineral resources requires a delicate balance of economic, environmental and societal considerations. To respond to this challenge, Thailand needs a paradigm shift in environmental management towards sustainablemining, in order to maximize benefits from exploitation of the mineral resources,whilst ensuring co-existence and mutual benefits of mining activities and their surrounding communities.This article seeks to provide some information about a fundamental change in theprinciples, approach and strategies of environmental management towards sustainable mining inThailand. The main mechanism includes changing in visions and strategies towards sustainable mining, applying various sustainability assessment tools in licensing and decision-making processes, decentralizing the environmental monitoring system to local authorities and communities, as well as enhancing the use of the sustainable development principle to all mining operators through various projects. An establishment of a rehabilitation fund, ahealth surveillance fund and a community infrastructure improvement fund are also required for development of any new mining project to guarantee rehabilitation works and risk management efforts during and after the mine's life.

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