The nearly 5,000 km. of the Mekong River, which crosses six countries and sustains the lives and livelihoods of millions, is under severe threat due to the on-going construction of large scale dams. Communities are resisting what could be the final struggle to save some of the remaining parts of the River… of their lives.
British firms not only controlled 80 per cent of the established ‘logging lands’ in Thailand, but they also influenced the establishment of the Royal Forest Department, which came to have total power over the nation’s forests. Massive land grabs and various colonial laws made half the country’s territory into a colony of the central state.
Colonial and anti-colonial movements’ have deeply shaped the patterns and impacts of concessions in SE Asia. In some cases, communities have experienced dispossession through land grabs dressed as concessions. In others, concessions are part of a re-concentration of land holding. Either way, the concession model fits well with ideologies of modernisation.
The Mekong/ASEAN Environmental Week (MAEW) is an annual regional platform and process for deeper sharing among people in the region of Southeast Asia, where key actors can exchange, analyze and debate on emerging issues that significantly affect them. This year the focus was on “Redesign ASEAN: Peoples' Voices in World Crises." Discussions covered the environmental situation as well as the economic, political, and other aspects that impact the region and its people.
They have been living in the Kaeng Krachan forests for generations. When a National Park was created, they started to suffer violence and evictions. 22 people have been prosecuted this year. They could face a jail term of 4 to 20 years.
Indigenous Karen People from Bang Kloi returned to their ancestral home in the Kaeng Krachan forests, after years of dispossession due to the creation of a National Park. Karen communities are mobilizing in solidarity to the Bang Kloi communities’ right to return home.
How are forest crimes defined? In Thailand, forest-dependant communities, rather than the government and companies carrying out large-scale deforestation, became scapegoats for this destruction. (Available in Thai).
Organisations, social movements and activists, from 40 countries express their support and solidarity with a community struggle in Northeastern Thailand to reclaim the land and forests encroached on by the Thor Silasitthi mining company.
We call organizations around the world to adhere to this letter of solidarity with the women and men human rights defenders (W/HRDs) of Khao Lao Yai-Pha Jun Dai Forest Conservation Group.
The industrial production of natural rubber has always been synonymous with destruction and exploitation. About 70% is used to manufacture tires. As the use of cars, trucks and airplanes increases, the use of rubber will also increase. And this does not come without controversy.
In November 2012, two women were found dead at the edge of a palm oil plantation. The death were understood as a clear warning to the Klong Sai Pattana village in Surat Thani, southern Thailand. The victims had spent the last four years fighting the Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd palm oil company in a land dispute that has engulfed this small community of around 70 families. For decades, Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co. Ltd has illegally occupied and harvested palm oil trees on 168 hectares of land.