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Environmental governance in Northern Thailand : the role of the district-level forest ranger

O'Donnell, Peter

Description

This thesis examines the role of district-level forest rangers in Northern Thailand. It builds an ethnographic case that Thai forest rangers have been largely successful in establishing with the local people their legitimacy to regulate the environment, but their effectiveness is limited by the influence of other stakeholders. The primary data that informs the thesis was collected during 15 months of living and working with a watershed management unit of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorO'Donnell, Peter
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-14T03:32:55Z
dc.date.available2019-02-14T03:32:55Z
dc.date.copyright2014
dc.identifier.otherb3600189
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/155711
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the role of district-level forest rangers in Northern Thailand. It builds an ethnographic case that Thai forest rangers have been largely successful in establishing with the local people their legitimacy to regulate the environment, but their effectiveness is limited by the influence of other stakeholders. The primary data that informs the thesis was collected during 15 months of living and working with a watershed management unit of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. Other studies of Thai forestry often portray district-level foresters as part of a singular, uncompromising forestry bureaucracy. This thesis adds to literature on Thai state-society relations by illustrating how forestry regulation in Northern Thailand is profoundly influenced by local factors and by sometimes conflicting government interests. As the personal interface between the forestry department and village people, district-level foresters are in a unique position in the system of governance. They need professional expertise, political nous and social skills to carry out their department's conservation mandate while maintaining a welcome presence in the community. The thesis draws attention to how richly we can see the regulatory pluralism of Thai environmental governance by imagining it as a Thai dance of identities - the strategic interactions the rangers employ to achieve their ends. It highlights various sources of power and influence that district-level foresters have to consider as they tailor broad environmental management policies to a local situation. It notes that the public image of environmental protection projected by the department, and the reality on the ground, are not the same - the difference between them being influenced by Thai cultural norms. District-level foresters make effective use of their geographic isolation, their social embeddedness in local villages, and religious and political ceremonies to aid them in their regulatory task.
dc.format.extentxi, 284 leaves.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subject.lcshForest rangers Thailand
dc.subject.lcshForesters Thailand
dc.subject.lcshForest management Thailand
dc.subject.lcshForests and forestry Environmental aspects Thailand
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental management Thailand
dc.titleEnvironmental governance in Northern Thailand : the role of the district-level forest ranger
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorWalker, Andrew
dcterms.valid2014
local.description.notesThesis (Ph.D.)--Australian National University, 2014
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2014
local.contributor.affiliationAustralian National University. Department of Political and Social Change
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5c6e70eb68be3
dc.date.updated2019-01-10T01:01:58Z
local.mintdoimint
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