In Phuket, Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura has ordered that a special committee be set up to protect the environment in Phuket. Gov Udomsak said he would like police officers, forestry staff and volunteers to sit on the committee, which would respond to complaints from the public about environmental damage.

"I would like the committee to be able to act as soon as it receives a report that someone is damaging the environment, especially when they are despoiling hills," said Gov Udomsak.

"I have had so many complaints from people about officers just standing by and letting commercial interests chop down trees or make a mess of hills."

The Governor, who was speaking at his monthly meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall, also urged residents to support the government's attempt to save energy, by switching off the air conditioning in their offices when they went out for lunch, and turning off power in their homes for five minutes from 8.45 pm.

He also urged road users to cut fuel consumption, by driving at a maximum of 90 km/h, and by car pooling. "For example, people who like to play golf should go to the golf course in one car, rather than each drive there in his own vehicle," he explained.

The Governor also touched on the subject of crime, suggesting that Phuket should have its own sniffer dogs to search for bombs and drugs.

"It would be great if Phuket had at least two dogs. If any foreigner thinks he has a dog that might be suitable as a sniffer dog, he can contact the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office," he said.

Gov Udomsak also recommended that the authorities see the low season as an opportunity to tidy up public amenities and services. He said, "This is a good chance to put everything in order, especially public transportation such as tuk tuks and motorbike taxis, while there is time to do this. If it isn't done now, the high season will be here again, and it's anybody's guess when we would have chance to do it then."