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Forest of Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand is a country with a total area of 510,890㎢ and forest coverage of 190,016 ㎢, which is 37 percent of the country. Thailand’s forest is a mixture of dry open deciduous, evergreen, and mangroves. There are 336 species of mammals, 1,010 species of birds, 394 species of reptiles, 157 species of amphibians, 2,825 species of fishes. Thailand’s flora is consisted of about 10,250 species of plants.


Economic and population growth has resulted in loss of forest areas. Thailand’s forests, which have covered more than 50 percent of the country in the 1960s have reduced in size to barely covering 30 percent. The reliance of the rural population of forest resources and goods for their daily lives amounts to almost 60 percent of the total rural population. The Royal Forest Department’s efforts to conserve forests through the designation of National Forest Reserves have met with difficulties due to the conflicts between the livelihoods of communities living near forests. Shifting cultivation, farm-land expansion, and encroachment increasing with economic development has been a major issue in reducing deforestation. Fires which occur mainly due to forest clearing are also a major cause of forest loss.


Thailand has been making an effort to include the participation of communities and various stakeholders in the sustainable management of forests. Although the strong motivation of the government has started to affect the level of deforestation, limitations still exist in the managerial and technical capacity within both the government and communities.