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Über dieses Buch

This book is one of four volumes on a major empirical migration study by leading Thai migration specialists from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok) for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).this volume discusses the environmental impact of temporary shelters for displaced people along the Thai–Myanmar border. Of nine shelters, three were selected for detailed study: Ban Tham Hin (Ratchaburi province), Ban Mai Nai Soi (Mae Hong Son province), and Ban Mae La (Tak province). For each shelter, various research methods were used to assess the environmental conditions, analyse the ways of living and use of resources by displaced persons, and disclose their perceptions of the environmental conditions they face. The environmental impact of the shelters on the surrounding areas were also assessed by listening to officials and representatives. The book provides realistic policy recommendations for a durable solution for refugees at the borders. Practitioners and policymakers from governments, international organizations and NGOs will benefit from its findings. The volume is also helpful for anyone studying forced migration and its denouement in the age of globalization.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

The rationale for the study is outlined, briefly summarising the protracted nature of the displaced persons issue on the Thai–Myanmar border, the potential environmental impacts of the temporary shelters, notably the use of construction materials, the consumption of food and the production of various solid and water waste. Key research questions are posed, looking at actual impacts and consequences, and a variety of research techniques are used to analyse physical and behavioural impacts. Participative approaches are used to find out the views of both displaced persons and local communities who must share the resources.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

2. Desk Review

The assessment of the environmental impact of refugee and displaced persons’ settlements is examined, including the use of environmental impact assessments. Examples from settlements around the world are compared and contrasted, looking at different types of settlement, including informal and state-imposed. Both positive and negative environmental impacts are discussed, and example given of where the presence of incoming populations has actually improved certain environmental factors. The focus then turns to studies of the settlements on the Myanmar–Thai border, assessing what environmental impact there has been, who caused it and how and what effects there have been on local populations.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

3. Displaced Persons’ Temporary Settlement Along the Thai–Myanmar Border: State of Affairs from an Environmental Perspective

The history of the displaced person’s issue in Thailand is briefly summarised, including how many have settled and why. The three shelters studied are then described in environmental terms, including their locations, topography, natural disasters, climate, flora and fauna. The relationship of the local population to its environment, is described, including the sustainable use of natural resources. The changes caused by a large influx of displaced persons and their settlements are described.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

4. The Way of Living and Resource Utilisation of the Displaced People

The impact of the way of living of the displaced persons is described and illustrated, including long- and short-term effects. Bringing in such a large population in a relatively unplanned way, particularly when the issue was seen originally as temporary, has many unforeseen consequences and impacts in terms of erosion, pollution, unsustainable use of natural resources and competition with the local population. The latter has led to some tension and conflict. Where traditional and cultural ways of living have not been accommodated by the provision of humanitarian resources, for example types of cooking oil and food, the local environment has been utilised to supplement what is available. The result has been a range of negative environmental impacts.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

5. Humanitarian Assistance and Displaced Peoples’ Perception of Environmental Issues in the Shelters

Humanitarian assistance aims to provide a basic standard of living to the displaced people, with enough food and shelter, and to provide them with a living environment that is safe, clean and adequate, including clean water, washing and bathing facilities. In general, displaced persons rate the support they have had as good, including services provided to them such as waste disposal. However, given the length of time that has elapsed and the number of displaced persons, together with the competition with the local Thai population, assistance is being strained, and issue such as solid waste disposal is reaching crisis point. The shelters are becoming increasingly overcrowded, polluted and noisy, and tensions are rising accordingly, especially amongst young people, who are less compliant and more impatient. Measures are needed at local level to maintain and improve the environment; and the root cause of the arrival of displaced persons needs to be addressed.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

6. Conclusions and Recommendations

The shelters are sited in remote, sparsely populated areas, partly because of the proximity to Myanmar. They lack infrastructure, such as robust solid waste disposal systems. Though agencies and the RTG have attempted to manage the settlements and their environments, this is proving increasingly challenging. Recommendations are made to each group of key actors, notably the RTG, humanitarian agencies, local population and the displaced persons themselves. In particular, encouraging greater environmental self-sufficiency amongst the displaced persons, and getting them involved in the planning and use of services, is seen as vital. Integrating the settlement’s systems, such as electricity, with national Thai sources, will also help.
Suwattana Thadaniti, Kanokphan U-Sha, Bart Lambregts, Jaturapat Bhiromkaew, Saowanee Wijitkosum, Vollop Prombang, Suchaow Toommakorn

Backmatter

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