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One of the most serious problems which Thailand faces is the problem of environmental degradation. The effect of recent industrial development of the country on the environment is devastating. Deforestation and pollution affects the whole environment including climate, and also the health and well–being of the Thai nation. It is not surprising that the issue of public participation in environmental protection appears at the centre of Thai public attention. The task of environmental protection is not the responsibility of government, NGOs, or active middle class. Recent Thai political history witnessed the rise of environmental self-consciousness of the rural population in Thailand(2). In recent years there has been a mass movement of villagers in different localities against the plans of industrial development in those localities. The description and the analysis of that movement would exceed the limits of this article. Instead this article, the existing law on public participation in the matter of environmental protection will be briefly outlined. It will be shown that Thai law, at least in this area, has need of Thai folk wisdom.

Part  2

(1) The author is a law lecturer at School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200 Thailand. He completed his PhD law research both in Moscow (Russia) and in Glasgow (the UK). For comments he can be contacted at:
More details about legal themes in Thai folktales see the book of the author: Thai Folktales and Law. Chiang Mai, Acts: 2004.
(2)For general survey of interaction of politics and environmental protection in Thailand see: Bello W., Cunningham S., Poh L.Kh. A Siamese Tragedy. – London: Zed Books, 1998. And Pasuk Phongpachit, Baker Ch. Thailand’s Boom and Bust. – Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1998.

Originally Published in The Chulalongkorn Law Journal

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