Environmental Impact Assessment In Thailand Essay

1412 words - 6 pages

The country of Thailand in Southeast Asia is dominated by the Chao Phraya river basin, which contains Bangkok, the capital and largest city, with some 6.7 million people. To the northeast lies the Khorat Plateau, which is largely cultivated by rice farms due to this ideal tropical savanna climate. This is as well the most economically deprived region of the country as rice farming is a labor intensive and not extremely profitable.
The Mekong River is a large river that forms the boarder to Laos, which was formerly part of Siam, the previous kingdom of Thailand. The northern part is mountainous and home to the various hill tribes and the infamous golden triangle. The Dawna Range forms the boarder to Myanmar to the west. To the south of the range is the Isthmus of Kra where the climate conditions are classified tropical monsoon because there is more rainfall and warmer temperatures. The picturesque beaches in the south are the main tourist destination in the country of mainly Europeans, Americans and Japanese. In the far south there is a Muslim community that is ethnically Malay as the Malayan peninsula is to the south.
Large reforms occurred during the reign of King Chulalongkorn known as Rama the 5th in the later half of the 19th century. He ordered the elimination of slavery, installed a railroad system and emphasized education. The king utilized diplomatic skill to preserve Siam’s independence from British Burma to the west and French Indochina to the east acting as a buffer state. As a result by 1910 Siam had largely diminished in territory but preserved its independence. It is the only nation in Southeast Asia to successfully avert colonial rule and therefore carries a distinct culture. (LePoer, 1987)
In 1939 after a non-violent democratic revolution the kingdom of Siam changed its name to Thailand, meaning land of the free, which it has been referred to by its inhabitants since ancient times. Thailand has had numerous military coups since its switch to a constitutional monarchy. Currently there is a coup trying to oust the current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra but as of now the military has not gotten involved.
Environmental assessment strategies (EAS) have largely been an instrument used by western countries. The article by John Boyle titled, Cultural influences on implementing environmental impact assessment: insights from thailand, indonesia, and malaysia from 1998 makes the point that business and political support for environmental impact assessment is was low. It explains that the environmental necessity is perceived differently in developing countries. Boyle attributes this to the ways environmental concerns and policies have been carried out politically differently. In developed regions environmental activism has been a “bottom up” struggle for improvement. But in developing countries environmental regulations have been initiatives by governments themselves to comply with the 1972 Stockholm and 1992 Rio international...

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