Housing project in Doi Suthep mountains, Thailand

Local organizations reacted to the building of a housing complex in a protected area in Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai), north of Thailand. The conflict ended with the government returning the land and starting a reforestation program.


Description

In 2015, the Thai government started building a housing complex for justice officials of the 5th Regional Appeal Court on the Doi Suthep mountain, close to Chiang Mai, Thailand's second largest city. The project was located on land plots owned by the Treasury Department that were still forested. However, controversy raised in early 2018 when aerial images of the housing project started circulating on social media showing how the buildings were encroaching forested area and causing environmental impact [1].

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Basic Data
NameHousing project in Doi Suthep mountains, Thailand
CountryThailand
ProvinceChiang Mai
SiteDoi Suthep National Park
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Urban development conflicts
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAffected land: 147 rai (23.5 hectares)

Investment: around 1 billion baths had been spent when the construction was stopped (USD31 million)
Project Area (in hectares)23.5
Level of Investment (in USD)31,128,400
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date01/01/2018
End Date06/05/2018
Relevant government actorsTreasury Department, Ministry of Justice, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNetwork for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest (https://www.facebook.com/DoiSuthepMountain/), Doi Suthep Forestland Reclamation Network, Chiang Mai’s Green City Council
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationMedia based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Development of AlternativesLocal organizations proposals only considered the recovery of the original forested area.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The government stopped the construction of houses and started the reforestation in the area.
Sources and Materials
Links

[4] Rally demands demolition of Doi Suthep housing, Bangkok Post, April 29, 2018
[click to view]

[7] Reforestation kicks off on Doi Suthep, The Nation, May 27, 2018
[click to view]

[2] Human Rights Situation in Thailand, Paper by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Submitted to the UN Human Rights Council under the Second Cycle of the UPR
[click to view]

[1] Thais rally against officials building homes on sacred mountain in Chiang Mai, AFP, April 28, 2018
[click to view]

[6] Government to return Doi Suthep housing land plot to park, Bangkok Post, May 6, 2018
[click to view]

[3] Appropriation denuding Doi Suthep, The Nation, April 28, 2018
[click to view]

[5] Thailand: hundreds stage largest protest since start of military rule, Reuters, April 29, 2018
[click to view]

Other Documents

Aerial view of the affected area by the development project in Doi Suthep Aerial view of the affected area by the development project in Doi Suthep./ Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Aerial view of the affected area by the development project in Doi Suthep Aerial view of the affected area by the development project in Doi Suthep. / Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep. / Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Some of the houses nearly finished in Doi Suthep Some of the houses nearly finished in Doi Suthep./ Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep. / Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep. / Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep Local protests for the recovery of the forested area in Doi Suthep. / Source: Network for the Return of Doi Suthep Forest
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLaura Villadiego, Carro de Combate, [email protected]
Last update13/06/2018
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