The establishment or upgrading of cadastres and land registration systems is viewed by many as an essential infrastructure investment to be considered by less developed countries. Nevertheless, while many will agree that cadastres and land registration are useful, a decision to actually invest in establishing or expanding these activities will be easier to undertake if it is demonstrated that the resulting benefits are higher than those of other public investments. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to report the results of a recent study undertaken in rural Thailand.
This article explores the nature of property rights systems, their evolution, and their effect on resource allocation. It is argued that certain institutional arrangements for land rights have evolved in order to reduce uncertainty and increase efficiency in credit as well as in land markets. Of particular relevance to developing countries, the article emphasizes the contribution of public sector infrastructure to effective land rights systems.
ABSTRACTED FROM IIED WEBSITE INTRODUCTION: One of the outputs of a research project considering shifting cultivation in Thailand, Lao PDR and Vietnam. It considers the dynamics of shifting cultivation and alternative land use systems in the context of highland development in Thailand, gathered in order to provide up-to-date information to policymakers. The study includes examination of national policies relating to highland areas and the impacts of such policies on local communities and land use patterns.
ABSTRACTED FROM THE INTRODUCTION: This paper addresses the question of land rights and forest conservation for those on the periphery, i.e. the minority hill-dwelling population, specifically, the Karen. Over the past century, the hill-dwelling Karen in Thailand have transformed their subsistence agriculture from that based primarily on swidden cultivation in secondary forests on the lower hill slopes towards wet-rice cultivation in irrigated paddy fields. In either case, the Karen are in a no-win situation.
ABSTRACTED FROM INTRODUCTION: How have national and state governments the world over come to “own” huge expanses of territory under the rubric of “national forest,” “national parks”, or “wastelands”? The two contradictory statements in the above epigraph illustrate that not all colonial administrators agreed that forests should be taken away from local people and “protected” by the state. The assumption of state authority over forests is based on a relatively recent convergence of historical circumstances.
Recent debates about governance, poverty and environmental sustainability have emphasized a ‘‘rights-based’’ approach, in which equitable development is strongly associated with individual and communal rights. This paper reviews this approach and explores its practical application to Thailand’s ‘‘Community Forestry Bill,’’ which seeks to establish communal rights of access and conservation in forest reserve areas.
Thailand has experienced rapid deforestation especially since the 1960s. While large areas of forestlands were designated as national forest reserves, many forests were actually converted into farmlands. This article focuses on the institutional and administrative aspects of the national forest reserve system, the core institution of forest conservation in Thailand, and examines the institutional structure, historical process mostly since the 1960s, and procedures of the national forest reserve system and related policies at both in national and local levels.
This article focuses on the role of environmental movements that have an influence on state policies regarding community forestry in Thailand. It analyses how conflicts between the state and local people over the right to manage forest resources have ceased to be seen as isolated incidents, but as part of a structural shortcoming in Thai law.
In the 1980s, the Thai government legalized squatters living in public land by issuing certificates that allowed self-cultivation but restricted the sale and rental of the land. Using a differences-in-differences empirical strategy, we compare the differential rental rates between titled and untitled plots in reform and non-reform areas.
OVERVIEW: Thailand is facing the challenges of a transition from lower- to upper-middle-income status. After decades of very rapid growth followed by more modest 5–6% growth after the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98, Thailand achieved a per capita GNI of US $3670 by 2008, reduced its poverty rate to less than 10% and greatly extended coverage of social services. Infant mortality has been cut to only 13 per 1000, and 98% of the population has access to clean water and sanitation.