DNP rejects Alro carve-up of land in national park

DNP rejects Alro carve-up of land in national park

Attapon: Inspects site of dispute
Attapon: Inspects site of dispute

The Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) on Sunday insisted that nobody can take forest land within Khao Yai National Park under the new agricultural land title deed policy.

The Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) website announced recently that about 2,933 rai of land in tambon Moosi of Pak Chong district, inside a Unesco World Heritage site area, have been earmarked as agricultural land for farmers, and that Sor Por Kor 4-01 certificates for 42 plots of land have already been granted.

Responding to the announcement, DNP director-general Athapol Charoenshunsa said Sor Por Kor rights cannot be issued to land designated as a national park area.

A team from the DNP, led by Mr Athapol, visited the area in dispute on Sunday.

They said that in July last year, park authorities recovered a plot of land, located in the 8th National Park Management Area, which was occupied by a private party. Other wrongful occupancies of the national park's land were reported in August.

On Jan 9, authorities found out that seven Sor Por Kor documents had been issued for more than seven rai of land in the park.

Khao Yai National Park chief Chaiya Huayhongthong submitted a letter to oppose Alro's landmarking and demanded the removal of boundary markers from the park.

The national park chief also asked for information on the issuance of Sor Por Kor rights documents but has not received a response.

An investigation jointly conducted by the national park office chief and Phaya Sue task force is currently underway.

Mr Chaiya said the decree on agricultural land reform said any redesignation must take into consideration the status of the land in question.

In addition, he said, authorities must ensure the lands' occupants are farmers.

However, the individuals who received Sor Por Kor rights in the park appeared not to be farmers, he said.

The National Park Office director Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn has reported the issue to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Gen Phatcharavat Wongsuwan.

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