Documents developed by this network are: National Laws on Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity and Rotational Farming.
Who is in the Thailand Network
Inter Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT)
Karen Network on Culture and Environment (KNCE)
Diocese Social Action Center (DISAC)
Northern Farmer Network (NFN)
Activities in the Thailand Network
News from the Thailand Network
August 29, 2011 -“Case of Human Rights Violations by the Head of the KaengKrachan National Park Against Ethnic Karen Villagers”
According to the media and as presented in the news, the KaengKrachan National Park staff and authorities along with the Thai military were involved in the destruction homes and property and of the arrest of Karen villagers. According to the KaengKrachan National Park and Thai military, the villagers are illegally occupying this area and are accused of destroying forest resources, supporting and supplying the Karen National Union along the border and serving as a source of drug production. A brief chronology of attacks on ethnic communities along the border region and in KaengKrachan National Park is summarized below. 1996 – 57 Karen families (391 people) were forced to leave their homes in BaanBaangKroi Bon and Baan Pu Ra Kham in Moo 2, Tambon Hoy MaePriang, AmphoeKaengKrachan, Phetchaburi Province. They were forced to move to the nearby villages of Baan Krai Lang and Baan Pong Luk.2010 –Karen villagers who had been living in 12 surrounding areas of BaangKroi Bon and Pu Ra Kham were pushed and expelled from their homes. Houses, barns, buildings were also burned and destroyed.2011 – May 5-9 - Houses and 98 rice storage sheds were burned, destroyed and looted. Money, gold, jewellery, farming equipment (scythes, axes) were stolen from BaangKroi Bon and Pu Ra Kham by the National Park authorities and the Thai military. 2011 – June23-26 –Houses and 21 rice storage sheds were burned, destroyed and looted. Money, fishnets, salt, scythes and musical instruments were also stolen from Karen villagers who had been living in 14 other surrounding areas of BaangKroi Bon and Pu Ra Kham. 2011 – July –Mr. ChaiwatLimleekkitasorn, Head of KaengKrachan National Park ordered the burning of more houses and rice storage sheds. Ethnic Karen people have been living in this area for over 100 years. The villagers are frightened and have suffered due to the activities of the National Park authorities and Thai military. They have been displaced and are homeless, with no security of life or land.
On July 16, 2011 a Thai military helicopter crashed in the KaengKrachan National Park area. This crash was followed by another 2 helicopter/plane crashes in the same area. Currently, approximately 200 people (40 families) fearing for their safety and security have left that area and have come to stay with their relatives in Baan Kroi Lang and Baan PongLuk. We are a Karen network for cultural and environment organizations, NGOs, government networks and academic institutions. We condemn the actions of the officials of the KaengKrachan National Park as unacceptable and are in violation of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand and international human rights. We call for Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra to solve this problem using the following guidelines:
Stop all threats, harassment, arrests and all other forms of human rights violations.
Scrutinize the actions of the staff and authorities of KaengKrachan National Park and all others involved in the above events.
Provide mental health counselling and for the well-being of the villagers who have suffered distress and trauma and compensate for the damages and losses they have incurred due to the actions of the National Park authorities and the military.This includes compensation and rectification of citizenship status, housing and land for traditional agriculture.
The government should take urgent action to abide by the cabinet resolution made on August 3rd, 2010 on policies regarding to the restoration of the traditional practices and livelihoods of Karen people. This and other related issues should be resolved through a committee or other appropriate mechanism.
Statement from the Karen Network for Culture and Environment, and NGOs, government networks and academic institutions
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Inter-Mountain Peoples’ Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT)
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?????????????????????????????????????? (????.) Human Rights for Protect Ethnic Groups Network
?????????????????????? Mae Khan River Basin Network
?????????????????????? Mae Wang River Basin Network
?????????????????????? Mae Lao River Basin Network
????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????? Akha for Education and Culture in Thailand Association, Chiangrai (AFECT),
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April 26, 2011 - Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas in Thailand
Indigenous Peoples and Protected Areas in Thailand (to be published in 2011) was carried out by the Inter-
Mountain Peoples Education and Culture in Thailand Association (IMPECT). The information has been
gathered from the Director of the National Parks Department, the Superintendent of Ob Luang National
Park, forestry officials, academics, lawyers working with indigenous peoples in protected areas, indigenous
representatives and indigenous and other NGOs. Read full PDF report.
April 24, 2011 - Indigenous Food Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
IKAP Network with collaboration with IMPECT Association and local organizations in Thailand organize the Indigenous Food Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 25 February 2011. Read Full Report.
The following are activities of this festival;
1. A demonstration of chefs from 10 IP groups in northern Thailand.
2. A demonstration of food preservation and food processing of the 10 IP groups
3. Sharing experiences and lessons learned from good practices in agro-biodiversity of selected communities from different IP groups.
4. Show and sell clean products from local communities from 10 IP groups to visitors.
5. An exhibition on Cabinet Resolution (3 August 2010), the good practice activities on producing clean products and the way of cultivating slow food products, and the rotational farming system.
6. Show and exchange local IP seeds and plants amongst IPs and other interested people.
7. A contest of the chefs’ food cooking and clean food products from IP communities.
8. IP music which reflects the knowledge of traditional food, clean products, and traditional cultivation that enhances biodiversity preservation with the festival and in the nighttime.
Place is IMPECT office.
June 28, 2010 - Workshop on Rotational Farming, Biodiversity and Climate Change
The workshop on Rotational Farming, Biodiversity and Climate Change was organized on 28 June 2010 at Chiang Mai University with the collaboration with the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact, Center of Ethnic Study and Development, the Sub-Committee of Karen Life Revival, Lawyer Council, IMPECT Association, Northern Development Foundation, and Karen Network for Culture and Environment. There were 96 participants (male 59, female 37) came from government representative (University, Forestry official, Environment Policy Development Office, and military), academy, NGOs, indigenous leaders, students and medias.
The objectives of the this workshop is to 1) share and discuss on rotational farming and its benefit to the biodiversity, plants, food security, and the sustainable use, 2) discuss on the role and contribution of the rotational farming to the climate change and adaptation, 3) develop the cooperation with the government office, and 4) promote the recognition of rights to culture and territories. 1.1 Opening by Jorni Odochao, the Karen Philosophy. He mentioned about the legend of Karen people. Karen people respect to “Khoo Hi Kha” the Mother goddess of grain. Before using the land we have to ask for permission. In a legend told that there is a orphan boy want to plant rice and he has to ask permission from the king, the king allow him but he has to plant on the stone. Then the orphan boy stole soil from the king’s land and put in the stone, so he can plant rice and got nine clusters of rice. He shares the products to his neighbors. Then the king allows him to plant in the land and rotate in nine plots. We would see that to negotiate with the king is not different to the currently situation. Currently, the rotational farmers argue and try to negotiate with the forestry officer. We accept the modernize but not forget to see the past.
To do “Kue” (rotational farming), always together with ceremony and ritual since the beginning to harvesting. Today we will invite Mr. Precha Siri to do small ritual and forecast to see what will happen in the future.
Mr.Precha Siri, the leader of Ban Hin Lad Nai use chicken bone to do the ritual, after finish pray he said the issue of rotational farming still more talking and negotiation. 1.2 Welcome speech by Dr.Chayan Wannaphuti, director of Centre for Ethnic Study and Development. I would like to welcome all of you to this workshop. The Ethnic Research Center was established in 1963 under the Public of Social Welfare. In that time, the rotational farming was called slash and burn. Then Mr.Sanga has done a research on Farmers in the Forest to clarify the highland agriculture. Then the public understand more about the rotational farming. In 1990, the issue of rotational farming was raised and more discussed among the academy and researcher. In 1997, the Constitution of Thailand included the human rights. The rotational farmers, academy, and NGOs tried to push this into the policy level but it is not yet recognized.
Currently, the issue of climate change which is the hot issue also relate to the rotational farming. So how shall we response that the rotational farming is contribution to the mitigation of climate change.
Rotational farming, status and change, Dr.Pinkeaw Luangaramsri
During 2002-2004, there was a lot of conflict on the land issue in the northern of Thailand. This research aims to see the reason of this conflict. With the cooperation of the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Forestry Science, Chiang Mai University, and the Ethnic Research Institute conducted this research with the objective of finding the policy to resolve the conflict. The research covered 11 communities in Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai, we divided into 3 different categories; (1) rotational farming and sustainable adjusting, (2) Rotational farming and alternative adjusting, and (3) Rotational farming area that impact from the activities of government, depending on outsiders. We found 207 different kinds of plant in the communities in the first and second categories and less variety in the third. The villagers use 1.82 % of their land to do rotational farming in each year, 0.87 Rai per person which is very small land. This finding could confirm that the highland agriculture/ rotational farming use less land. We also found that the increase of population is not cause of increasing the land, but in the opposite the land getting less because the force of government. The villagers learn to use more efficiency, they change some area to be paddy field.
The research finding of Forestry Science found that after the government strictly controls using of land, the area of rotational farming was reduced. They also found that the soil erosion in the fallow land is very less (less than 0.1 hectare per year). After the force of government, they increase the paddy field and reduce the plot from 5-8 years to 1-2 years. The research found that there is more soil erosion. Some of them use the land for cash crop and permanent use which any more relationship with the nature. The ownership of land,
Definition of the rotational farming, we mainly focus on the traditional way of agriculture which is not expanding to the new area or forest.
2.1) Rotational farming is friendly with ecosystem and environment
2.1.1) Increase biodiversity
2.1.2) Conserve forest area
2.1.3) Create futility to the land and increase the products.
2.2) Rotational farming is culture, life, and community
2.2.1) create resources, especially the four factors.
2.2.2) co-management by the whole community.
2.3) Rotational farming system respect to the nature and create the balance to the nature.
3) Problem of rotational farming comes from
3.1) Less of understanding to the process and benefit, it is necessary to see the field.
3.2) Corruption within the government.
3.3) Less of information. 4) Suggestion
4.1) The studying, developing of document, and tools for communication especially in the school should be revised.
4.2) Rotational farming is the right of community to manage their own area based on the Thai constitution 2007.
4.3) Prove the rights to live and use that land
4.3.1) Participatory of the community in all processes, need to create a working group or committee to follow up.
4.3.2) Stop arresting all cases related to the rotational farming.
4.3.3) Study more and find the appropriate compensate cost.
4.3.4) Recognize the cultural rights and allow indigenous peoples to continue practice rotational farming.
April 4, 2010 - International Cultural Festival: Royal Patronage from the Mountains to the Seas.
The Indigenous Knowledge and Peoples (IKAP) network, Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT) and Asia Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP) in cooperation with the Office of National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture, the Office of the National Human Rights Commission, Government and Non-Government Organizations, and civil society will organize “The International Cultural Festival: the Royal Patronage from the Mountains to the Seas” from 1 – 5 May 2010 to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Coronation Day of the present King Rama IX.
Thailand is the country in Asia and Pacific region with her salient feature of cultural diversity where various ethnic groups have been coexisting since time-immemorial. This can be traced back to the history even long before the establishment of the Kingdom. For the coming millennium, cultural diversity is valued as the richness of human cultural heritage in the new world system.
The present King of Thailand in particular has illustrated his royal interest in this cultural diversity from the beginning of his royal duty through his various visits to ethnic communities located in very remote areas stretching from the North to the South of the country. H.M. the King plays his active role as a model for government officials and his citizens to uphold the pride of human values as well as to respect the rights and cultural differences among the people. This attitude is believed to bring about social cohesion that the people will cooperate in maintaining and passing on these diverse cultural identities to the next generations. Thus, people with different cultural backgrounds a
re able to learn through their practice to create the culture of peace and mutual respect in Thai society.
In addition, the United Nations has declared “The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” to be celebrated on the 21 May of every year. Moreover, the United Nations in commemorating the Human Rights Day of 2009 has emphasized the theme of non-discrimination as reflected in the slogan, “Embrace diversity, End discrimination”. The focus on non-discrimination will continue throughout 2010. Moreover, the present period also falls within the years 2005-2014 designated by the United Nations as the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People and coincides with the ongoing realization of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Office of the National Culture Commission (ONCC), Ministry of Culture, Office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT), in cooperation with Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, business sector, and civil society are working together to organize “The International Cultural Festival: the Royal Patronage from the Mountains to the Seas” in order to celebrate H.M. the King’s initiatives and efforts towards respecting cultural diversity in Thailand and at the same time to promote the non-discrimination campaign launched by the United Nations.
The event is aimed at honoring H.M. the King for his endeavor to achieve the fundamental freedom and the rights of all ethnic groups in Thailand.
The idea for Thailand is to participate in the celebration of “The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development” and the United Nations promotion of non-discrimination.
It is an opportunity to highlight the importance of the UN Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People and promote the realization of the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
It is expected that the power of culture would be strengthened to become the major driving force for development and peaceful livelihood.
This effort is to communicate with the public to understand the values of cultural diversity and to live together peacefully.
Seminar on “The Royal Patronage from the Mountains to the Seas”.
Photographic Exhibition of the Royal Visits to Indigenous Communities and Marginalized People in Thailand.
Demonstration of indigenous livelihood reflecting various forms of cultural heritage, namely, food, costume, artisan, artistic performance, and local occupation.
Indigenous Consciousness Market.
International Indigenous Cuisine and quiz.
Trade fair of products under The Royal Project and other King’s Initiative Projects.
International Indigenous Cultural Performances.
Painting and Photographic Contest on “Indigenous Intangible Cultural Heritage” with focus on food, costume, artisan, and artistic performances.
Three-dimension film on “Eight Decades of Thai Kings”.
Short Film Contest on “Indigenous Intangible Cultural Heritage”.
Film Show on the Royal Duty in view of visits to indigenous communities.
Exhibitions organized by academic institutes and related agencies.
Production and dissemination of media on indigenous peoples and cultural diversity.
Venue: Thailand Cultural Centre,
The Office of the National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture,
14 Thiamruammitr Rd, Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10310, Thailand.
Duration: 1 – 5 May 2010
Representatives from indigenous peoples in Thailand 20 – 30 groups.
Representatives from indigenous peoples overseas 20 – 30 groups.
Estimated Target Groups: At least 10,000 peoples, including;
Students from schools and universities.
Representatives from NGOs and civil society.
Representatives from business sector.
Representatives from mass media.
Project Holder: Office of the National Culture Commission, Ministry of Culture,
14 Thiamruammitr Rd, Huay Kwang, Bangkok 10310 Thailand.
Tel: +66(0)2 247 0013 ext 1108, Fax: +66(0)2 645 2977
Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand,
The Government Complex Building B, 7th Floor
120 Chaengwathana Rd., Laksi, Bangkok 10210 Thailand.
Tel: +66(0)2 141 3902, Fax: +66(0)2 143 9571
Network of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (NIPT),c/o Office of the Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (IPF), 188/525 Moo10, Ban Khurusapha, Soi 21, San Nameng Sub-district, San Sai District, Chiang Mai 50210 Thailand.
Tel.: +66(0)5334 4945, Fax: +66(0) 5334 4945
August 3, 2010 - Recovering the Karen Livelihood in Thailand - a Cabinet Resolution of the Royal Thai Government, August 3rd, 2010
The cabinet agreed to the project “Recovering the Karen Livelihood in Thailand” proposed by the “Ministry of Culture,” as follows:
The Cabinet agrees on the policy principles and implementation principals for recovery of the Karen livelihood in Thailand;
The policy and principals of implementation are assigned to government agencies and organizations which are related to the recovery of the Karen livelihood in Thailand, as follows:
1.1 Short-term policies for implementation during the next 6-12 months
1. Ethnic Identity and Culture
1.1 Promote and support the Karen people’s ethnic identity and culture as part of a culturally diverse national culture.
Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
1.2 Promote social recognition and understanding on living together in a situation of cultural diversity and pluralism by learning about the Karen cultural identity.
Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
2. Resource Management
2.1 Cease the arrest and detention of the Karen people who are part of local traditional communities settled on disputed land which is traditional land used for making a living.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Interior
2.2 Form a working demarcation committee or a mechanism for specifying the land use zoning for settlement and cultural livelihood to eliminate the conflict concerning land use or land ownership of Karen people and government agencies. This should be carried out by including bodies other than the official agencies to resolve the problem of the trespassing of the state forest area by emphasizing a participatory process of communities which may have gains and losses, academics, and persons who are involved with the people who implement their cultural livelihood, as well as human rights agencies, including sociologists and anthropologists by assigning them the authority to focus on supporting conflict resolution through constructive dialogue.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Interior,
National Commission on Human Rights,
Karen Network for Culture and Environment,
Ministry of Justice
2.3 Support the biodiversity of highland communities. E.g. preserve the genetic and species diversity of seeds and plants, food security, the ecological balance of the ecosystem, and the process of the rotational farming system
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Interior,
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
3. Citizenship Rights
3.1 Based on cabinet resolutions which already exist, ID cards have been provided for Karen people who do not have citizenship (cards for people in the highland and former ID cards for people in the highland) who migrated to Thailand start from October 3rd 1965. These people can request to become foreign nationals who have the right to permanent settlement in Thailand and will be issued with identification paper ID documentation as foreign nationals. Children born in Thailand can request Thai citizenship through Article 7 second paragraph of the Citizenship Law, the target for this group being approximately 40,000 persons.
Ministry of Interior, Office of National Security Council
3.2 Speed up the Ministry of Interior process for considering requests from foreign nationals who are permanently settled in Thailand and for receiving documentation or ID cards for foreign nationals. Further, expedite the process by which children of foreign nationals who were born in Thailand can request Thai citizenship through Article 7 second paragraph of the Citizenship Law and who have already submitted their application sometime, in some cases a considerably long time, in the past.
Minister of Interior
4. Transfer of Cultural Heritage
4.1 Support the establishment of community cultural centers based on this cabinet resolution by combining and harmonizing with the traditional lifestyle, and ensures that these cultural centers are imbued with life.
Ministry of Culture through the Offices of Culture at the provincial level, Office of the National Cultural Committee through the Centers for the Integration of Thai Community Relationships, Karen Network for Culture and Environment.
4.2 Allocate budget finance to establish lively community cultural centers for the Karen communities and the implementation of cultural activities of the Karen cultural network.
Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
5.1 Allow the communities to be part of the process of setting up an educational program which is linked to their lifestyle and culture, including giving the right to conduct their own education and having the management of education supported by the local community, e.g. in budgetary aspects.
Ministry of Education
5.2 Develop the capacity of educational administration committees, teachers, and local communities, for example so that school committees can manage their own education by continuing teacher training, organizing exposure trips, and adapting the school management system appropriately for the community.
Ministry of Education
5.3 Support scholarships at /higher education/the undergraduate study/university level, particularly in fields necessary for community development, e.g. in the field of health and so on.
Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health
1.2 Long-term policies for implementation during the next 1 to 3 years
1. Natural Resource Management
1.1 Repeal the declarations concerning protected areas, reserve forests and settlements of Karen people which already have the capability to prove that their settlement, living on and use of these lands has continued for a long time or since before the declaration of laws or policies that now cover these areas.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
1.2 Support and recognize the rotational farming systems which belong to the Karen ways of life and livelihood, and which support the sustainable use of natural resources and self-sufficiency, including promotion of the Karen rotational farming system to become a world cultural heritage.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Culture,
1.3 Support self-sufficiency or alternative agriculture instead of cash crop production or industrial agriculture.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Interior
1.4 Support and recognize the ways of using the land and the management of local traditional communities, e.g. through issuing communal land titles.
Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Allocation of budget to each person under the health insurance system for Karen who have registered their history of residence in Thailand and who are entitled to live in Thailand as Thai citizens.
Office of National Health Insurance for All
3. Transfer of Cultural Heritage
Identify special cultural zone for the Karen people in the pilot areas;
3.1 Hin Lad Nai Village, Baanpong Subdistrict, Wiang Pa Pao District, Chiang Rai Province.
3.2 Lai Wo Subdistrict, Sanglaburi District, Kanjanaburi Province.
3.3 Nong Montha (Maw Wa Hki) Village, Mae Win Subdistrict, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai Province.
3.4 Le Taung Hkoo Village, Mae Jan Subdistrict, Umpha District, Tak Province.
Minister of Interior, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security
4.1 Redefine the teacher examination system by supporting the ability of more Karen indigenous people teachers and students to return to their own communities. In the case that a teacher does not belong to that ethnic group, she/he should able to understand the mother tongue language or be prepared to learn the mother tongue language from the community.
Ministry of Education
4.2 The state must lessen the background conditions of educational qualifications to benefit the process of the transfer of knowledge, culture, history, and mother tongue languages. This is particularly in regard to early childhood school teachers until primary school teachers.
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture
4.3 Promote the “multiple languages” policy to achieve acceptance and understanding of spoken and written Karen language in order to enhance the understanding of the differentiation of the Karen from other groups.
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture
4.4 Change the approach of the allocation of schools to communities, for example the approach of opening branches in local communities to avoid closing small schools without regard to the size of the community. Furthermore, the relationship between local educational units should be strengthened through collaboration between schools, communities, academics, and NGOs in order to develop integrated curricula for local/mother tongue languages and cultures.