Thai Forestry: A Critical Historyby Ann Danaiya Usher
For nearly a century, Thai state forestry has focused overwhelmingly on extracting timber and keeping local people away from the forests. In forest ecosystems that contain some three thousand species of trees, Thai state foresters have concentrated on just three—teak, pine, and eucalyptus. While in recent years foresters have shifted their focus to conservation, they continue to pursue policies that marginalize communities, leaving them with little option but to protest and resist.
Ann Danaiya Usher examines the historical ideas and styles of forestry that have long influenced the practice of Thai state forestry. She also traces the origins of the century-old conflict between foresters and forest communities and argues that unless some kind of resolution is found, the loss of forest is almost certain to continue until there is little left to protect. Thai Forestry: A Critical History builds on Ann Danaiya Usher’s work at The Nation in the 1990s and challenges all who care about Thailand’s environment to reexamine its history in the search for creative, genuine solutions.
What others are saying
“I wish I could have read this book fifty years ago. Details of Thai forest history are rarely documented and difficult to access. By recording the major events and intellectual history of forestry development in Thailand, the author has provided a critically needed study, one that I hope will inspire a ‘reinventing’ of Thai forestry that promotes the well being of both the forests and the people who live there.”—Somsak Sukwong, former Dean of Forestry, Kasetsart University, and Founding Director, Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC)
“This is an extraordinary book: a critical biography of forestry in Thailand and its political and social ramifications. For foresters and anyone concerned about environmental well-being, this is a must-read.”—Pinkaew Laungaramsri, author of Redefining Nature: Karen Ecological Knowledge and the Challenge to the Modern Conservation Paradigm
About the Author
is a Thai-Canadian journalist who has written on environmental and development issues since 1987. She was a pioneer of environmental journalism in Thailand, and in 1990 received the Thai Reporters’ Association’s first-ever Environmental Reporter of the Year Award. She is currently an editor of the Nordic journal Development Today.
- Review of Thai Forestry: A Critical History, by Thomas Enters (Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 98, 2010)
- Review of Thai Forestry: A Critical History, by Peter Oâ€™Donnell (New Mandala, 22 January 2010)
- Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A history of Thailand’s forests, foresters and forest-dependent people, by Philip Hirsch (Bangkok Post, 25 January 2010)