Unique deal is a win-win for landless Thais and mangroves

World

Unique deal is a win-win for landless Thais and mangroves

Families get desperately needed land in the vital ecosystems as long as they preserve them

Rina Chandran

Thai authorities have reached an agreement with a landless community that will allow villagers to live in a mangrove forest if they help protect the area, a unique collaboration that could work across the country, land rights groups said.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government, human rights groups and about 45 families in the coastal town of Ranong, the community will not get ownership rights but will receive assistance in building homes and access to utilities.

The agreement, which was struck earlier this month and includes indigenous people such as the sea gypsies, is now being replicated in the coastal cities of Phuket and Krabi...

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