Sections: EnvironmentKrabi

A Krabi palm plantation returned as a community forest. Protesters want more.

PHOTO: Mekong Eye

A private company’s concession to grow oil palms in Krabi has come to an end. So local authorities have opened it to locals as a “Community forest”. The local Forest Resource Management officials have launched a reclamation project at the site in Ban Thung Preu, Khao Phanom.

The concession to grow oil palms there expired in 2015 and authority started the process of reclaiming the land next to the overlapping Khao Kwang, Khao Yang and Khao Chong Bang Riang forest reserves.

Forest Resource Office 12 director Somchai Nuchananonthep says the site will now be designated a community forest. Members of local communities have been recruited to help manage the new reserve and keep out illegal occupants, as the land is considered viable for reforesting.

The new community forest covers some 221 rai of land. Thailand is currently the world’s third-largest producer of palm oil and most of the palm oil is grown in the southern half of the country.

Krabi has 14 oil palm plantations covering 70,000 rai. In the past decade, three of those had been reclaimed including a 1,500 rai site also in Khao Phanom and another of a 20,000 rai plot in Plai Phraya district.

But that’s not good enough to appease some activists who want all 14 plantations to be returned to local ownership and allocated as farmlands for the “poor people”. The group of some 200 people that protested on Krabi municipality steps this week, point out that the concessions have expired on all 14 sites and the land would be better used for farming, divided among 20,000 low-income people who registered to be allocated some of the disputed land last year.

The group accuses Krabi provincial officials of failing to reclaim the land for the benefit of poor people even as investors continue to earn money from the plantations. The governor, also a police lieutenant-colonel, asked the protesters to take their protest somewhere else, saying City Hall needs to prepare for annual New Year celebrations and a Red Cross fair.

He warned protesters that they faced charges of illegal assembly in a public place. He failed to comment on the ongoing situation with the 14 oil palm plantation concessions and the land’s future use.

SOURCE: Thailand Today

Share
The Thaiger

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Published by

Recent News

Protesters suing Thai PM, police and officials over State of Emergency in October

Protesters and human rights lawyers are officially suing the Thai PM, a deputy PM and…

November 28, 2020

More protest rallies today and tomorrow around Bangkok

If you think the current spate of rallies are ruling out of steam, think again.…

November 28, 2020

Monk found hanged at Chon Buri temple in apparent suicide

A 68 year old monk has been found hanged at a temple in the eastern…

November 28, 2020

Shooter from Bangkok SCB protest surrenders to police

A man accused of shooting at anti-government protesters at a rally in Bangkok on Wednesday…

November 28, 2020

“Bad Students” protest group urges pupils to ditch their uniforms

School students are being urged to ditch their uniforms and wear their own clothes from…

November 28, 2020

Health Ministry teams up with Agoda to offer quarantine hotel packages

Anyone planning a visit or a return to Thailand can now book their quarantine stay…

November 28, 2020