Thamanat imposes buffer-zones curb

Thamanat imposes buffer-zones curb

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow (photo: Government House)
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow (photo: Government House)

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow will outline an agricultural land reform policy on Tuesday to ensure that buffer zones are established between forest reserves and land designated for agricultural use, and that these zones will not be allocated to farmers.

The minister will meet the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) following a dispute between Alro and the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) regarding the policy aimed at upgrading Sor Por Kor land -- formerly non-transferrable plots allocated to landless farmers as title deeds.

Capt Thamanat said the meeting will ensure Alro officials nationwide adhere to the buffer zone guideline and investigate suspected irregularities in the issuance of Sor Por Kor land.

The dispute between Alro and the DNA erupted after the discovery that almost 3,000 rai of land inside the World Heritage site of Khao Yai National Park was earmarked as land to be granted to farmers under the Sor Por Kor policy.

Both agencies agreed last Wednesday to leave a buffer zone between a national park and Alro land untouched. In the event that any Alro plots are later proved to be a part of a national park, the land document already issued for these particular plots must be revoked.

Capt Thamanat stressed the buffer zones must not be allocated to individual farmers and they will be instead designated as "community forests" where the community co-manage natural resources for community use.

Meanwhile, a network of 22 forest and wildlife conservation groups has launched a campaign against Sor Kor Por land documents being issued in forest reserves.

Led by Amnuay Inthararak, the network will submit a petition to Premier Srettha Thavisin asking him to review the Sor Por Kor policy.

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