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Phase Ⅱ

Institutional and practical study on better implementation of community-based water and forest management law in Thailand

1. Outline of the Research Project

 The Thai Constitution guarantees a community the right to manage and utilise natural resources, and to participate in relevant undertaking in accordance with the procedures as provided by law. However, until recently, no concrete legal schemes had been developed to embody the community-based natural resource management. In addition, relevant water and forest laws are diverse and complex, resulting in harmful effects of the vertical sectionalism, mutual contradictions, and serious conflicts of various interests. In order to improve these situations, the Water Resources Act and the Community Forest Act were enacted in 2019, and a river basin committee and community forest committee shall be established at each local level. From this viewpoint it is a key issue how to develop concrete community-based management system and to strengthen the enforcement of new laws.

 This joint international research with Mae Fah Luang University aims to discuss and to analyze the following points; 1) the content and nature of the community rights, 2) clarification of the factors that may be obstacles to the new law, 3) effective scheme and rules for the participation of the community, especially concrete measures for the local rule-making. By doing so, it aims to contribute to better implementation of the new laws, sustainable natural resource management and resolution of conflicts over natural resources.

2. Research Team

Japanese Team

(Research representative) Noriko Okubo

*Affiliation:Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University

*Role:Planning / coordination

*General research interests:Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration

・Developments on the Aarhus Convention and its impacts on domestic law

 ・Three access rights: access to information, right to participate, access to justice (procedural environmental right)

 ・Comparative study of Principle 10 between European, Asian and Latin American countries

 ・How to strengthen Principle 10 in Japan, especially system of public interest litigation (PIL)

*Interests in this research

・Participation system of the communities in the field of water and forest management in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand

・Impacts of the new Water Resource Management and the Community Forest Law on Community involvement in the natural resource management

(Research collaborator)


*Affiliation:Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)

*Role:Research collaboration

*General research interests

・Environmental problems, policy, and NGOs in China

・Water, environment, and river-basin governance

・Transdisciplinary research on sustainability challenges in East Asia

*Interests in this research

・How Thailand’s water resource law and institutions co-evolve with development of cross-boundary water resource governance in the Mekong River Basin;

・Possible development of dialogue and collaboration among various stakeholders on water, forest and wider resources in river basins.


*Belongs:Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Setsunan University

*Role:Research sharing

*Previous research:International law on Non-navigation Uses of International Watercourses

・Development of the UN Watercourses Convention (1997)

 →Realization of substantive / procedural obligations

 →Relationship between Equitable Utilization Rule and No-harm Rule

*My interest in this research

・Consider the development of Thai indigenous peoples’ rights in comparison with international human rights law, in particular, uggestions from Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case Law.


*Belongs:Associate Professor, Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Kyushu University

*Role:Customary use of natural resources by local people in Northern Thailand. Examination of local people’s right under Community Forest Law and its Realities

*Previous research

・Natural resource management by various stakeholders including local people in Mainland Southeast Asia

・Forest management under global warming such as REDD+

・Combatting illegal logging in Southeast Asia

*interest in this research

・How effective is Thailand Community Forest Law for customary forest resources use by local people

・How important Community Forest Law to local people and to the politicians

(Research support)


*Belongs:Assistant Professor, Research Administrator, Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University


*Belongs:Research student


*Belongs:Master course, Graduate School of Law and Politics, Osaka University

Thai Team

(Research collaborator)

◆Siriporn Wajjwalku (Assoc. Prof., Dr. )

*Affiliation: School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiangrai, Thailand

*Role: Research collaborator

*General research interests

・Japan’s foreign policy toward Southeast Asia, in particular aid and development cooperation

・Japan-Thailand Relations focusing on historical and political aspects

・Development Cooperation in Global South

・International Development in Southeast Asia focusing on food and water

*Interests in this project

・The role of transnational movements and water governance in Mekong sub-region

◆Wanwalee Inpin (Dr. )

*Affiliation: School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand

*Role: Research collaborator

*General research interests

・Public Policy (Policy and Practices Particular in Disaster Management in Japan)

・Disaster Management (Disaster Resilience, Disaster Governance, Disaster and Development)

・Good Governance (Local Leadership and Local Autonomy)

*Interest in this project

・The sustainability of community forest management for disaster risk reduction

◆Yuki Miyake (Dr.)

*Affiliation: School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand

*Role: Research collaborator

*General research interests

・Natural resource management from social science perspectives

・Local rights, local knowledge and sustainable development

・Social movement, participation and negotiation

・Gender issues

・Northern Thailand and Southeast Asia

*Interests in this project

・Applying gendered perspective to the process of establishing as well as to implementing the Community Forest Act 2019

◆Thanikun Chantra (Dr. )

*Affiliation: School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand

*Role: Research collaborator

*General research interests

・Civic and political participation

・Roles of civil society in development

・Volunteerism in disaster management

・Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy

・Roles of international organizations in international development

*Interests in this project

・How can international organizations (such as MRC) function effectively for transboundary water resources management in the Mekong River Basin?

◆Reni Juwitasari

*Affiliation: Asian Research Center for International Development (ARCID), School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand

*Role: Research collaborator

*General research interests

・Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA)

・Human Resource Development (HRD)

*Interests in this project

・The human resource development and sustainability of Japan’s ODA for Community Forest Management