Last update:
2015-07-09

Sri Nakarin Dam National Park and Chalerm Rattanakosin Forest Reserves, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

An agreement was made between the community members and park officials so that villagers could continue to cultivate and extract resources in the protected areas.


Description:

This conflict regarding the establishment of the Sri Nakarin Dam National Park and the Chalerm Rattanakosin Forest Reserves, located in Kanchanaburi Province, is a case of conflict that arose between customary and statutory claims over forest resources, as well as between global conservation trends and local livelihood goals [1] Following increasing deforestation during the 1960s, the Thai government turned more and more towards forest conservation through the establishment of National Parks and Forest Reserves, based on the National Park Act of 1961. The law prescribed that any economic activity within a national park is largely forbidden, including those activities directly related to small-famers’ subsistence, such as collection of timber and non-timber products, flowers, herbs, fruits, honey, charcoal and the like. The law provoked countrywide conflicts with local villagers strongly depending on such activities, affected by national parks that nowadays cover around 23 percent of all Thai forests. The situation improved with new laws released towards the end of the 1990s, allowing for such activities, given that villagers had been living in the area already before the establishment of a park. However, the exclusionary vision on conservation goals still persists in many areas [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sri Nakarin Dam National Park and Chalerm Rattanakosin Forest Reserves, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Country:Thailand
State or province:Kanchanaburi
Location of conflict:Teen Tok village
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific commodities:Land
Biological resources
Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

In 1981, the government designated two protect areas: the Sri Nakarin Dam National Park and the Charlem Rattanakosin Forest Reserves. Both the national park and forest reserve overlapped with the Teen Tok village lands.

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Project area:153,200 + 5,900 (both parks)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1,129 persons (252 households)
Start of the conflict:01/01/1981
End of the conflict:2006
Relevant government actors:Thai government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sueb Nasakhathien Foundation
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Karen Po ethnic minority
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Community members trapped forestry officers in the village without food or water
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Other socio-economic impactsVillagers' collection activities became illegal and therefore they were considered forest thieves
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Land demarcation
Negotiated alternative solution
Repression
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Dialogue between community members and park officials through the mediation of a local NGO; a joint management solution that allows villagers moderate resource use in the protected areas
Development of alternatives:The local NGO served as a mediator to solve the conflict in 2004. That was a part of the Joint Management of Protected Area (JoMPA). The JoMPA aims at different objectives: (i)building mutual understanding between local people and national park officials by regular meeting, (ii)marking forest areas for villagers' use within the boudaries of two protected areas to allow collection of non-timber forest products, (iii)informing the boundary checks in advance; (iv)creating regulations for managing and monitoring activities within the protected areas.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:An agreement was made between the community members and park officials so that villagers could continue to cultivate and extract resources in the protected areas. Teen Tok's Forest Conservation Network was extended to neighbouring villages and the Forest Protection Volunteer Network was established in 2008 with the participation of five more villages in the area.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Thailand National Park Act of 1961
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Yasmi, Y, Kelley, L., Muriyarso, D., Patel, T. (2012) The struggle over Asia's forests: an overview of forest conflict and potential implications for REDD+, International Forestry Review, 14(1): 99-109.

[1] Rawee Thaworn, Lisa Kelly, Yurdi Yasmi, Can biodiversity conservation go hand in hand with local livelihoods: A case of conflict resolution in Thailand.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] kachanaburi info.com
[click to view]

Other documents

Livelihood activities in the national parks Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1758e/i1758e08.pdf
[click to view]

Villagers living in the national park prior to its establishment Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1758e/i1758e08.pdf
[click to view]

Document showing fines for villagers and land confiscation Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1758e/i1758e08.pdf
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Hao Phan, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, h.[email protected]
Last update09/07/2015
Comments
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