Thailand’s forest rangers push for higher salary

Photo by Thai PBS.

Thailand’s forest rangers are pushing for a higher salary. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation in Thailand is calling for a pay raise for approximately 14,000 forest rangers, Thai PBS reported.

The department is seeking an increase from the current monthly salary of 9,000 baht to 11,000 baht from the Comptroller Department of the Finance Ministry, effective from October 1.

Atthaphon Charoenchansa, the department’s director-general, said on Tuesday that the current salary of 9,000 baht was last raised from 6,000 baht on April 1. Given the present economic situation, this increase does not align with the cost of living. He emphasised that considering the responsibilities and risks associated with their job, there is a significant disparity between the forest rangers’ compensation and that of other government officials.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, is aware of the issue and wants forest rangers to be treated and compensated appropriately, Atthaphon added.

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Forest rangers face numerous challenges in their line of duty and often put their lives at risk. They are tasked with safeguarding the country’s forests, wildlife, and plants, and unfortunately, some rangers are injured or lose their lives each year.

On January 19 this year, illegal poachers shot and killed a Chon Buri forest ranger in the Sri Racha district. A group of 14 rangers came across the poachers while on a routine patrol in the Khao Khiao-Khao Chomphu Wildlife Sanctuary. The rangers attempted to arrest the poachers, and the poachers then started shooting at them, leading to a gunfight.

In September 2021, a forest ranger was killed and another ranger sustained injuries after they were attacked by a gaur, an indigenous bovine also known as an Indian bison. The two rangers had been on patrol in the Khao Yai National Park at the time of the attack. Shortly after arriving at Khao Samer Poon in Prachin Buri, the two rangers were charged by the gaur.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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