Seems the Thailand and especially the Phuket developers say: “Hey, we need some more resorts and some more new villas, but the land is too expensive so let’s kick out the elephants and encroach the national parks!”
More than 12,000 rai of public land and forest reserve has been illegally encroached on nationwide, says the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
The situation in Phuket is the most critical in the country, accounting for 30% of encroachment on public land. (View enlarged cartoon).
One of the latest incidents is the new 1.5 Billion THB Pullman Phuket Arcadia Nai Thon Beach being constructed on national park land.
As a result the director of Phuket’s largest national park has been transferred to another post as an investigation continues into alleged encroachment by several other Phuket resorts. The problem in Phuket is that the price of land is so high that it encourages land encroachment.
The Phuket Forestry Department say that there were originally 16 protected forest areas in Phuket, covering some 40 per cent of the island. However, the protected areas have shrunk by half due to a combination of land encroachment and the transfer of land to agriculture land reform.