11 July 2024

A map, called “One Map”, recently completed by the Army Survey Department, clearly shows that the Sor Por Kor (land reform) demarcation stones found by park officials are actually on land reform areas and are not within the area of Khao Yai National Park, according to Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao.

The minister said today that the disputed land will not, however, be distributed to impoverished farmers as originally intended, but will be reserved as a “buffer zone” between Sor Por Kor land and park areas.

He attributed the land dispute, between the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and the Nakhon Ratchasima Land Reform Office, to the fact that the two agencies used two different maps for land demarcation, resulting in demarcations overlapping in some areas.

Thammanat also said that he has instructed the Nakhon Ratchasima Land Reform Office to recheck whether all the Sor Por Kor plots around the national park have been distributed to impoverished farmers. If not, and the land has been developed into resorts and hotels, the plots will be confiscated.

He thanked Chaiya Huayhongtong, chief of Khao Yai National Park, and Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn, chief of the National Parks Office, for their courage in protecting park land from encroachers.

From now on, he said, the Agricultural Land Reform Office,under the Agriculture Ministry, and the National Parks Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, will coordinate more closely to avoid land disputes.