Securing rights to land and natural resources for landless and land-poor communities in three regions of Thailand
ActionAid Thailand may be known by many from our works in educational mobilisation and women’s rights, though, as an organisation that take action on the basis of human rights, we acknowledge the issues a large number of small farmers and remote communities face, especially ones concerning their rights to access lands and natural resources.
We have worked with global organisations on short-term projects; and now, for four years, we have the support of the European Union and are working closely with partners in tackling the issues stated.
According to Land Development Department’s 2014 data, few Thais are able to own land. The proportion of landholding to the country’s population is striking: 60 percent of the people own only 4.69 percent of the land in total. Meanwhile, up to 7.5 million rai – 2.56 million acres – of land are left uncultivated or deserted.
The country’s land policy has weakened the rights of communities. This has not only rendered people in remote areas to have less land to build their lives on and thus compete for natural resources, but it also increasingly granted both the private and public sectors mining concessions. Governmental shifts as a result of the 2014 coup have ensured no certainty nor continuity in direction for development efforts; attempts from civil society organisations and people’s networks at land reforms will, more often than not, come to a halt when changes of the government occur.
The acquisition of rights to land and natural resources for the landless and land-poor is a project spearheaded by The Northern Development Foundation (NDF), Chumchomthai Foundation (CTF) and ActionAid Thailand with a four-year funding support from the European Union, effective from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021. The programme aims to establish close cooperation between civil society networks and organisations, landless or land-poor communities and government agencies in working on land rights issues and aiding communities in achieving stability and protecting their heritage and way of life in a sustainable way, which would subsequently reduce economic disparity in Thailand.
The project supports local movements, namely the People's Movement for a Just Society (P-Move), Northern Farmers Network (NFN) and Community Network for Social and Political Reform (CSPR); and operates in four types of landless or land-poor communities in 16 provinces across the north, northeast and south of Thailand, including small farmers and fishermen’s communities, sea gypsy communities, ethnic minority communities in the highlands, and communities of stateless people.
Sep 15, 2018
On 8 September 2018, ActionAid Thailand on joined partners, activists and organisations at the UN ESCAP Building to demand urgent action on climate justice.
Feb 08, 2017
The Pha Lai mobile kindergarten is a school for young children from 1.6 years old to kindergarten level in Chiang Dao Sub-district. Currently there are about 80 students from six ethnic minority groups. It has the status of a kindergarten with budget support from foreign donor. The kindergarten receives little funding from government. While local government does support an early childhood development center in the sub-district, it is too far for the community to and the cost of travel is prohibitive.
Dec 02, 2016
“...In the past, I was too shy to contact government officials….I didn’t realize that I and my community had the right to access budget of local government agencies….I didn’t know what were the channels of access to that funding.”
Dec 02, 2016
Forum: Pong Khom, Pong Pa Khaem Communities join forces to restore the environment and protect aquatic life of Mae Chan River in Tambon Pa Tueng, Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai Province