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Pak Bara deep sea port project, Thailand

Satun’s Mu Ko Phetra National Park, a source of local food and major tourism income is currently threatened with disappearance for building the Pak Bara Deep Sea Project . Villagers are protesting and demanding the cancellation of this project.


The Transport Ministry plans to link the new port in Satun province on the Andaman coast with a port in Songkhla province facing the Gulf of Thailand. Under the plan, it will be able to handle large container ships and supertankers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia [1]. According to the Nation news in 2015, the Pak Bara Deep-sea Port project has been put on hold several times due to environmental concern and opposition from locals. The first proposal was in 1993 [4]. Local population warn of the multiple and potential negative  impact the project will bring to the Andaman coast.  It  would harm Satun’s Mu Ko Phetra National Park, a source of local food and major tourism income.  So local population are protesting and demanding the cancellation of the Pak Bara Deep Sea Port. As a protest, in October 2013, villagers marched about 220km from Pak Bara community to Songkhla [communities that will be afected by the port construction]. However, the Ministry of Transport ensures that " The port would be a green project which will not cause environment problem but will help promote tourism, transport and rail development" (Jun 2015) [3]. According to Bankong Post, there is one Environmental Impact Assessment approved in 2007, and the environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) is being developed and expected to be finished in 2016 .

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pak Bara deep sea port project, Thailand
State or province:Satun province
Location of conflict:Andaman coast, La Ngu district
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Coastal area
Project Details and Actors
Project details

It will open a logistics route between the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Thailand to the South China Sea. The port will be capable of accommodating large container ships and supertankers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

See more
Level of Investment:163,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Relevant government actors:The Marine Department
Ministry of Transport
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation
Silent Power (an activist student group at Thammasat University)
The Network of Satun Watch
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Anti-government movement, students
Forms of mobilization:Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project is advancing.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Protest against Pak Bara deep sea port in Satun
[click to view]

[2] Pak Bara Deep Sea Port Project
[click to view]

[4] Prajin sets deadline for Pak Bara port plan
[click to view]

[3] Transport Minister assures Pak Bara deep-sea port project is a “green” project
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Conservationists join anti-government movement
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

T.V news: Villagers to march against Pak Bara deep sea port construction
[click to view]

Other documents

Source: A graphic rendition of Pak Bara Deep Sea Port which is to be built in Langu district of Satun province.
[click to view]

Source: Paritta Wangkiat Demonstrators raise flags while traveling on roads in Satun to voice opposition to the Pak Bara deep sea port project. Oct 2015
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Carros de Combate and SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update18/12/2016
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