Nakhon Ratchasima pledges help for locals affected by forest reclamation

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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 12 July 2015 – The governor of Nakhon Ratchasima province, accompanied by officials of the provincial Social Development and Human Security Office, has recently handed monetary assistance to families affected by the reclamation of Khon Buri forest reserve.

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Thongchai Lue-adul gave an aid fund of 5,000 baht to each of the 39 families which were ordered to relocate from a forest reserve late last year. The villagers are living in the temporary shelter as the land arrangement is in the pipeline. Apart from the cash, the governor gave the villagers necessary items while assuring them of a fair share in the new land allocation.

Forest encroachment is one of the government’s prime concerns. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, forest areas in the country is shrinking by more than one million rai each year. The total forest areas are estimated at 32 percent of the entire land countrywide.

The government on June 1 announced its forest reclamation campaign aimed at taking back at least 600,000 rai of encroached forests across the country from influential figures within this year.