Application of Public Participation in the Decision-Making Regarding the Environmental Impacts of Poverty Alleviation: A Case Study of the Royal Development Project, Hua Pa Khieo, Phatthalung, Thailand

By Umaporn Muneenam and Chatchai Ratanachai.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Public participation is supported in Thailand with any activity that may impact on the environment and people. This study examined model, strength and barrier factors, and the results of an application of public participation in the decision-making regarding the environmental impacts of poverty alleviation in a case study of the Queen’s poverty alleviation projects, Hau Pa Khieo, Phatthalung province, Thailand. The public participated mainly in group discussions with the other professional organisations, and they were being consulted through in-depth interviews and by giving basic information through observation and secondary data. Within the Typology of Participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) model, this public participation could be classified as interactive participation. That is, the poverty alleviation policy was originally one of the Royal Development Projects; the environmental committee was formed to include the external and local representatives. They worked together, discussed together, and finally made a decision together using both technical and value judgments. However, the barriers to participation were the domination of the process by the interest groups, and the women’s lack of confidence compared to the men’s to present their opinions. Although this project did not succeed in all the activities expected in the original plan, the product improved the quality of the monitoring process; in addition, it was responsible for ensuring that the project was, for example, more responsive to public preferences and concerns, and addressed the relevant issues perceived by all stakeholders.

Keywords: Public Participation, Environmental Impact, Poverty Alleviation, Thailand

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.263-270. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 647.861KB).

Dr. Umaporn Muneenam

Lecturer, Environmental Management Faculty, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand

1996-BPA (second honor), Prince of Songkla University, Thailand; 1997-MSc (Environmental Management), Prince of Songkla University, Thailand; 2006-PhD (Environmental Studies), Griffith University, Australia; Present-Lecturer at Prince of Songkla University, Thailand; Interest: Public perception, Public acceptance, Public perception of risk, Environmental Communication, Public participation, Eco-tourism, Environmental Sociology; Research: A Studying team in social issue 1) 1998: IEE and EIA in pipeline and gas separation plant, Songkhla, Thailand. 2) 2001: Hua Pa Khieo Development Project, Phatthalung, Thailand. 3) 2006: IEE in Permanent house construction for Tsunami survisors on the Phi Phi Don Lisland, Thailand. 4) 2006: Songkhla environmental master and action plan 2008-2011.

Dr Chatchai Ratanachai

Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand

Interest: Environmental impact assessment, Public participation; Subjects taught: Environmental impact assessment, Water resource engineering, Public health engineering; Selected publications: 1) Ratanachai, C., Integrated Management of Songkhla Lake Basin, presented at the ASAIHL Seminar on Sustainable Development, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, 1993. 2) McDonald, G., and C. Ratanachai, “Assisting New Academic Program in Environmental Management in Developing Country,” in Higher Education Staff Development: Direction For the Twenty-first Century, UNESCO, Paris, 1994. 3) Ratanachai, C., “Conflict Resolution in Thailand : A Case of Songkhla Lake Basin,” presented in the 6th International Conference on the Conservation and Management of Lakes --- Kasumigaura’ 95, Tsukuba, Japan, 1995. 4) Ratanachai, C., Water Quality Management, Chulalongkorn University Press, Bangkok, 1996. 5) Ratanachai, C., et al., A Database for Environmental Planning of Southern Five Boarder Provinces, Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Bangkok, 1997. 6) Ratanachai, C., et al, Laboratory Waste and Hazardous Substance Management at Prince of Songkla University, submitted to Thailand Research Fund, Bangkok, 2001. EIA: 1) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Thai Shell Co., Ltd. (Offshore Oil Drilling), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1991. 2) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Pin Yo Co., Ltd. (Tin and Marble Mine), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1991. 3) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Reconnaissance: Phuket International Airport, JICA, Bangkok, 1993. 4) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Rajjaprabha - Phangnga 115 KV Transmission System), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1994. 5) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Accelerated Rural Department (Road Route No. PT. 11037), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1996. 6) Ratanachai, C., et al., Initial Environmental Examination for Petroleum Authority of Thailand (Thailand-Malaysian Gas Pipeline and Gas Separation Plant), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1998. 7) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (Surat Thani Industrial Estate), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 1998. 8) Ratanachai, C., et al., Environmental Impact Assessment for Trans Thailand Malaysia (Thailand-Malaysian Gas Pipeline and Gas Separation Plant), Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, 2000.

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