Author Topic: Decision on Nakhon Ratchasima forest encroachers soon  (Read 845 times)


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Decision on Nakhon Ratchasima forest encroachers soon
« on: May 07, 2010, 05:46:54 PM »
Decision on forest encroachers soon

Villagers who encroach on forestland connected to the resort home of former prime minister Surayud Chulanont on Khao Yai Thiang in Nakhon Ratchasima may be allowed to remain or required to leave, depending on a coming executive decision, the Royal Forest Department said yesterday.

Both options are being studied by the legal division of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry after the RFD forwarded its conclusions last month, said director-general Chonlatid Suraswadi.

Out of all 35 land plots totalling 313 rai distributed to farmers in 1975, only one owner still has his, a 13-rai plot, he said. The remaining plots were sold or acquired by buyers, including Surayud, in a controversial manner.

The first option is drastic: all owners or renters of land will be required to leave their plots, after which they will then be restored to forest areas.

The second option is to allow all of them to remain on their present 161 plots on condition they do not encroach further into the forest.

Chonlatid did not provide details about the ministry's time frame for finishing its legal study or the final decision on the two options.

He said the RFD had not decided whether to consider choosing the first option, with more than 6.4 million rai occupied by 450,000 farmers and other occupants nationwide.

"We don't want to panic the public by making them think we'll take action against encroachers relying on the Khao Yai Thiang model," Chonlatid said.

No immediate action will be taken against such encroachers, and those land plots located in areas where ecological conditions have not been affected by encroachment are not at risk of eviction, he said.

The Nation