Environment-conscious villagers have blocked access to a rock crushing plant in their community, in Suwankhuha district of Thailand’s northeastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu, to take over the community forest after the expiration of the plant’s concession.
The plant was operated by the Thor Silasitthi Company, which was granted a concession at Khao Laoyai-Pha Jantai mountain, which is located in a community forest in Tambon Dong Mafai.
The 26-year concession expired on September 3rd.
The villagers reportedly said that they do not want the concession to be renewed, claiming that they have been campaigning, for almost three decades to reclaim their forest.
During the prolonged campaign, they claim that four villagers, including a Tambon headman, were shot dead and police have not arrested the perpetrators.
Two years ago, the Administrative Court revoked the company’s license, but it successfully appealed against the ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court. It has also sought the renewal of its concession for another ten years.