Removing forest people not the solution to Thailand’s flood woes

A recent article in The Nation reports that “activists and experts” have called on the Thai government to “remove” as many as two million people from mountainous parts of the country in an effort to head off future natural disasters. The headline, however, distracts readers from the more nuanced message intended by these activist and expert groups.

“Govt called for moving 2m pp from mountain zones,” the headline reads; but this position was merely the “strongest” proposal put forward among more moderate options at a seminar titled “Headwater Forest Strategy and the Way to Prevent Flood and Drought,” held in Bangkok on 29 March.

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REDD+, forests and food

At Durban’s Forest Day 5, the resounding message was that REDD+ will not work if people are hungry. How can we expect the poor to conserve forest resources if their food security – their very survival – rests on the use or consumption of those resources?

Part of the problem is a perceived trade-off between cultivating land for agriculture and preserving it as forestland. RECOFTC discusses this, and other opportunity costs of REDD+ for local people, in the latest REDD-Net Bulletin, in which we point out that current market values for forest carbon offsets simply cannot compete with global prices for crops like rubber, oil palm, and coffee.

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