Inderscience Publishers

Thailand's disappearing forests: the challenge to tropical forest conservation

Despite the ever-increasing concern about their conservation, tropical forests in Thailand are undergoing depletion and degradation, because the government pursued a policy of increasing national revenue through commercial logging and forest encroachment for the expansion of commercial agriculture until the end of 1980s. The pace of deforestation was further accelerated by the ever-growing population and rampant rural poverty. Although the government has now formally abandoned that policy in response to the growing public awareness of environmental and economic effects of deforestation, it has not been successful in controlling the destruction of forests, owing primarily to the policy of allotting degraded forests to private entrepreneurs and spontaneous resettlers, the open access status of forests, poor public participation in forest management, and very weak management capabilities of local forestry agencies. This paper outlines the major policy measures available in the pursuit of tropical forest conservation.

Keywords: deforestation causes, conservation policies, forest management, forestry policy, Thailand, tropical forests, forest destruction

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