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Title: Communal land titling dilemmas in northern Thailand: From community forestry to beneficial yet risky and uncertain options
Authors: Chusak Wittayapak
Ian G. Baird
Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Environmental Science
Social Sciences
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2018
Abstract: © 2017 Communal land titling has become a popular tool for land-use management and governance in Southeast Asia in recent years, including in Thailand. In this paper, we describe how the community forestry movement in northern Thailand emerged and dissipated, and then transformed into a communal land titling movement. We then explain how the government of Thailand has recently chosen to abandon a stronger rights-based communal land titling process in favor of a less rights-based approach, albeit one that potentially provides considerable access to lands and natural resources as well as other associated benefits, but not without potential short-term problems and risks, and also risks and uncertainty for the future. We do not claim to know what decisions are most optimal, but the five case studies that we examine from Northern Thailand do provide insights into some of the potential dilemmas associated with entering into beneficial yet imperfect communal land titling arrangements. Ultimately, we advocate taking a hopeful but critical perspective to considering communal land titling options, whether in Thailand or elsewhere, and basing such decisions on detailed consideration of historical and present-day circumstances, and with the full participation of those who will be affected by crucial decisions, so that the best and most timely choices can be made, even if options are unlikely to be without some risks and uncertainties.
ISSN: 02648377
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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