Thai government to use ‘One Map’ system for land disputes resolutionLegacy

Sutin Klungsang, the Defence Minister, has stated that the Thai government will employ the One Map system, developed by the Royal Thai Survey Department, to resolve ongoing land ownership disputes nationwide, including a contentious issue in Khao Yai National Park.

Sutin, who is also the chair of the One Map preparation committee, made it clear that any disagreements about the map’s accuracy could be taken up with the Central Administrative Court. His comments came in light of National Park Office director, Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn’s, objections to the information provided by the One Map system, reported Bangkok Post.

Sutin stated that discrepancies might have arisen due to different organisations using different maps. He suggested a single map could help to reach a resolution. The One Map system, he added, does not favour any party but is based on analysis of historical and current photographic evidence.

Meanwhile, Jatuporn Burutpat, permanent secretary of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, has planned a discussion with Chaiwat and related sectors regarding the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land right certificates, which are currently suspended. This meeting is scheduled for March 4.

The discussion panel will also include Prayoon Insakul, the Agriculture permanent secretary; Athapol Charoenshunsa, director-general of the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP); and Surachai Achalaboon, chief of the Department of Royal Forest.

On the previous day, Chaiwat expressed his approval of the Royal Thai Survey Department’s conclusions during a meeting with multiple committees. He claimed that the disputed 3,000-rai area was not in the buffer zone as defined by the Royal Thai Survey Department, but within the boundaries of Khao Yai National Park, as previously announced by a royal decree.

Ammarit Khongkaew, acting director general of Nakhon Ratchasima Alro, confirmed during the meeting that the issuance of the Sor Por Kor certificates for the land was a violation of regulations.

Today, Chaiwat will conduct a survey of the disputed land, accompanied by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the secretary-general of the Alro, and the governor of Nakhon Ratchasima.

The Committee on Land, Natural Resources, and Environment is also set to survey the area on Monday, confirmed by Apichart Sirisoonthorn, the committee chairman.

Amnuay Intarak, a member of the Khao Yai’s Friend group, mentioned that 23 conservation groups support Chaiwat’s objections to the One Map system.

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Author: Mitch Connor