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With regard to the Project: Environmental Empowerment for Grassroots and Non-State Actors in Thailand, the Activity 8 Public Conferences and publication promoting most efficient law reforms and social changes, the purpose of this activity is to facilitate cross-sector engagement and constructive exchanges in order to advance the process of environmental justice in Thailand. In this action, a research on “Cabinet Resolution of 30 June 1998: Land and Forest Management” was conducted by a team of legal expert, Associate Professor Somchai Preechasilapakun, Head of Legal Study and Development Center, Faculty of Law, Chiangmai University to address the problems on important legal issues that has been giving impacts to land and forest management of the State and land tenure of Northern farmers for decades, which framed the contents of a panel discussion in this public conference on 24 November 2016.
The activity started with the introduction of the research contents focusing on the legal status of the Cabinet Resolution of 30 June 1998 and the impact caused by the adoption of this Cabinet Resolution by key stakeholders concerned e.g. the Royal Forest Department and Department of Lands. The panelists comprising Deputy Director General of Department of Lands, Director of Bureau of Land and Forest Management (The Royal Forest Department, Ministry of Interior), Secretary of Sub-Committee in state ONE MAP Project, Permanent Law Councillor from the Office of the Council of State of Thailand, including the Research Professor and Northern Community Coordinator of the Project jointly discussed about impacts resulted from law enforcement in the context of this Cabinet Resolution and the feasibility of the state ONE MAP project, as a remedial measure proposed by the government.
The event was successfully attended by over 130 participants e.g. legislators of the Secretariats of the Representatives House and the Senate House, the Law Reform Commission of Thailand, the Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand, the Administrative Court of Thailand and the Courts of Justice as well as prominent local CSOs (e.g. Land Watch, PDA, IPPS), UNEP and certainly, the affected grassroots.
The activity was also reported by Thai press namely, Thai Rath TV, The Nation TV, Channel 7, the Bangkok Post, and the Nation.