Environmental Law

Cabinet approves Measures against Forest Encroachment

Date: 26 November 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: National News Bureau of Thailand

BANGKOK, Nov 26, (NNT) - The Cabinet this week approved measures to manage state forestry areas, while maintaining the coexistence of forests and human activity.

Prime Minister’s Office Spokesperson Puttipong Punnakan , made the announcement this week, saying that the new measures allow those who have lived in state forest areas along category 3 to category 5 canals before the issuance of the Cabinet resolution in June 1998, to remain in those state forest areas. Revelant agencies will be responsible for identifying suitable plots of land to accommodate these households. They are allowed to stay for at least 5 years but no more than 30 years.

Those who have lived in national parks along category 3 to category 5 canals after the issuance of the Cabinet resolution in June 1998 can also remain in the national parks. Related agencies must also find common plots of land for them live on. However, these people are required to enter a reforestation program and are prohibited from further encroaching on the protected areas.

The spokesperson said that responsible officials will be tasked with managing protected forest areas along the category 1 and 2 canals before the issuance of the Cabinet’s resolution in June 1998, so as to prevent further encroachment and possible environmental impact.

The authorities will also inspect the land ownership and occupational operations on the land of those living in the protected forest areas after the Cabinet’s resolution in June 1998. The Cabinet also resolves to establish a committee responsible for determining occupation and preservation zones of mangrove forests. The new committee will also be tasked with familiarizing the residents around mangrove forests with the measures.

The Cabinet also approved a motion to reduce tax on donations to political parties. It involves the amendment of the personal income tax law concerning any donations to political parties. The amendment allows an additional 10,000 baht tax deduction on donations to political parties.

Corporations, partnerships, and juristic persons, making a donation of no more than 50,000 baht are entitled to a tax deduction of the same amount.

The new measures are expected to come into effect this taxation year.

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