New agricultural land reform policy to implement buffer zones
New agricultural land reform policy to implement buffer zonesLegacy

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow is set to propose a new agricultural land reform policy tomorrow. The policy seeks to establish a buffer zone between forest reserves and agricultural land, with the explicit specification that this zone will not be allocated to individual farmers.

This comes in the wake of an ongoing dispute between the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro) and the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) over the reform policy. This policy is aimed at improving the status of Sor Por Kor land, which were previously non-transferable plots designated for landless farmers, reported Bangkok Post.

The minister’s meeting with Alro aims to ensure that officials across the country comply with the buffer zone guidelines. Furthermore, investigations into alleged irregularities in the issuance of Sor Por Kor land will be conducted.

The conflict between Alro and the DNP was sparked when it was discovered that nearly 3,000 rai of land within the Khao Yai National Park, a World Heritage site, was marked for allocation to farmers under the Sor Por Kor policy.

The two agencies agreed last Wednesday to maintain a buffer zone between the national park and Alro land untouched. If any Alro plots are later confirmed to be part of a national park, the land document for these specific plots must be annulled.

Emphasising the importance of the buffer zones, Thamanat Prompow stated that they will not be assigned to individual farmers. Instead, these zones will be labelled as ‘community forests’, managed collectively by the community for communal use.

Meanwhile, a coalition of 22 forest and wildlife conservation groups, led by Amnuay Inthararak, has initiated a campaign opposing the issuance of Sor Kor Por land documents in forest reserves. The group plans to submit a petition to Premier Srettha Thavisin, requesting a review of the Sor Por Kor policy.

In related news, Thailand’s Department of Natural Resources refuted claims to farmland within Khao Yai National Park, challenging agricultural land designation by the Agricultural Land Reform Office.

The story New agricultural land reform policy to implement buffer zones as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Mitch Connor