As an organisation that take action on the basis of human rights, ActionAid Thailand acknowledges the issues a large number of small farmers and remote communities face, especially ones concerning their rights to access lands and natural resources.

We have worked with global organisations on short-term projects; and now, for four years, we have the support of the European Union and are working closely with partners in tackling the issues stated.

According to Land Development Department’s 2014 data, few Thais are able to own land. The proportion of landholding to the country’s population is striking: 60 percent of the people own only 4.69 percent of the land in total. Meanwhile, up to 7.5 million rai – 2.56 million acres – of land are left uncultivated or deserted.

The country’s land policy has weakened the rights of communities. This has not only rendered people in remote areas to have less land to build their lives on and thus compete for natural resources, but it also increasingly granted both the private and public sectors mining concessions. Governmental shifts as a result of the 2014 coup have ensured no certainty nor continuity in direction for development efforts; attempts from civil society organisations and people’s networks at land reforms will, more often than not, come to a halt when changes of the government occur.

Land is Life: the acquisition of rights to land and natural resources for the landless and land-poor is a project spearheaded by the Northern Development Foundation (NDF), Chumchom Thai Foundation (CTF) and ActionAid Thailand with a four-year funding support from the European Union, effective from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021. The programme aims to establish close cooperation between civil society networks and organisations, landless or land-poor communities and government agencies in working on land rights issues and aiding communities in achieving stability and protecting their heritage and way of life in a sustainable way, which would subsequently reduce economic disparity in Thailand.

The project supports local movements, namely the People’s Movement for a Just Society (P-Move), Northern Farmers Network (NFN) and Community Network for Social and Political Reform (CSPR); and operates in four types of landless or land-poor communities in 16 provinces across the north, northeast and south of Thailand, including small farmers and fishermen’s communities, sea gypsy communities, ethnic minority communities in the highlands, and communities of stateless people.

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