Home World NewsThailand A Battle for Preservation Amidst Agricultural Encroachments – THAI.NEWS – Thailand Breaking News

A Battle for Preservation Amidst Agricultural Encroachments – THAI.NEWS – Thailand Breaking News

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Imagine a verdant paradise, teeming with wildlife and the raw, enchanting beauty of nature. This is Khao Yai National Park, a gem nestled in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Yet, beneath its lush canopy, a drama unfolds that pits the guardians of this natural sanctuary against the specter of encroachment. A vigilant community bands together, flocking to the park office to voice their outcry against the alleged appropriation of 2,900 rai of this pristine land, feared to be maliciously transformed to cater to agricultural pursuits. A photograph capturing this assembly speaks volumes, echoing their determined stand against the encroachment. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

The echo from The Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) travels through the realms of conservation and agriculture, unraveling the narrative that the government’s policy of distributing land title deeds to earnest farmers treads separately from the shadow of land encroachment. This looming threat menaces over 100,000 rai (an astonishing 39,536 acres) of the nation’s verdant treasure. DNP’s director-general, the esteemed Attapol Charoenchansa, channels this message through CU Radio of Chulalongkorn University, illustrating a clear line of demarcation between policy intentions and the unfortunate outcomes of encroachment.

Amid the hullabaloo, the backstory of the government’s initiative, under the helm of the Pheu Thai Party-led coalition, unfolds. This noble endeavor sought to empower farmers by turning the lands they reside on into official land title deeds, a gateway to loans and a beacon of job security. Yet, this well-meaning policy cast an unintended shadow over Khao Yai National Park when the DNP stumbled upon a revelation. An audacious 2,900 rai, ear-marked for this transformative Sor Por Kor issuance, lay within the borders of Khao Yai National Park, igniting a quest to reclaim these lands from the Agriculture Land Reform Office (Arlo).

Tuesday brought a twist as Arlo realigned its ranks, transferring six of its officials from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok, a prelude to a thorough investigation into the alleged encroachments, raising eyebrows and questions alike. This narrative is further thickened by the estimate from National Park Office director Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, painting a broader canvas of over 150,000 rai of national park land under siege, eyed covetously for conversion into agricultural reform land.

Mr. Attapol stands as a pillar behind his comrade’s claims, advocating that these figures merely scratch the surface, derived from preliminary data. The ministry is now embarking on a meticulous expedition, entrusting its surveyors with the task of mapping the full extent of this encroachment saga. The ministry, a guardian of state lands in no less than 400 locales spanning the nation, from resplendent national parks to reserved areas, finds its resolve tested, as most of these lands recline under the watchful eyes of the DNP and Royal Forestry Department.

In a twist of fate, whispers of a deal on national park land flutter through the air, promising a resolution that will uphold the sanctity of these natural bastions. As the tale of Khao Yai unfolds, it beckons us to ponder the delicate balance between nurturing our farmers and preserving our natural heritage, a narrative that continues to captivate and challenge us.

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