The Crisis of Deforestation and Public Governance of Community Forests in Thailand

Authors

รศ.ดร.สมศักดิ์ สามัคคีธรรม

Published

Thammasat Review

Abstract

This paper argues that the Thai state’s forest management since 1896 has been centralized in accordance with the traditional public administration regime, with its emphasis on top-down control without consultation or local people’s participation.

This regime resulted in deforestation and crisis, which led to social conflicts during in the 1970s and 1980s. The Thai state was ineffective in managing this severe problem and then, in the late 1990s, it shifted its forest management policy to the New Public Governance regime by granting communities’ rights in forest management.

This new management policy features collective public leaderships, working networks and the use of soft instruments of dialogue and mutual learning, which results in protection for the forest but also recovery in many devastated areas.

(2558). The Crisis of Deforestation and Public Governance of Community Forests in Thailand. Thammasat Review, 18(1), 27-45.