Edited by Edward B. Barbier and Suthawan Sathirathai
Chapter 10: Coastal Communities, Mangrove Loss and Shrimp Farming: Social and Institutional Perspectives
10. Coastal communities, mangrove loss and shrimp farming: social and institutional perspectives Wattana Sugunnasil and Suthawan Sathirathai BACKGROUND When natural resources such as mangroves are depleted at an alarming rate, it is obviously a question of mismanagement. As in the case of terrestrial forests in Thailand, mangroves are under the jurisdiction of the state through the care of the Royal Forestry Department (RFD). However, in practice, local coastal communities play significant roles in the use and management of the resources. This chapter will examine relationships between coastal communities and mangrove forests, also in the context of shrimp farming expansion under the influence of the current institutional settings. The chapter is divided into three main sections. The first briefly discusses the existing law and policy regarding the use and conservation of mangroves. The second discusses the communities’ interaction with the resources. The last section attempts to analyze the situations in the light of social and institutional perspectives. EXISTING LAW AND POLICY ON MANGROVE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION: PROBLEMS AND TRENDS Under the current legal system, the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) is the sole agency with legal authority to protect and manage mangrove forests in Thailand. However, in practice, there are several governmental agencies which affect the utilization and conservation of mangrove; for example, shrimp farming enterprises and mining concessions in the mangrove area have been carried out with the support of the Fishery Department and the Department of Mineral Resources, respectively. The national committee on policy and planning for the management of...
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