Forest ownership in Thailand
Forest plantations are on both public and private land for which the ownership is granted. Ownership of public land for forest plantations can be granted by:
- Royal Forest Department under National Reserved Forest Act B.E. 2507 (1964) and Forest Act B.E. 2484 (1941)
- The Cooperative Promotion Department and Department of Social Development and Welfare under Allotment of Land for Living Act, B.E. 2511 (1968)
- The Agricultural land Reform Office under Agricultural land Reform Act, B.E. 2518 (1975)
- Ministry of Finance under The Ratchaphatsadu Land Act, B.E. 2562 (2019)
Ownership of private land is only granted by the Department of Lands under the Land Code, B.E.2497 (1954).
As of 2017, the forest area for economic development in Thailand accounts for about 8%, with economic plantations making up 1.5%, while rubberwood forests comprise another 6.8%. Thailand aims to increase the forest area available for economic development by up to 15% before 2036. This will be achieved by promoting the establishment of plantations in appropriate areas, including public lands that are allowed to be used for this purpose.
The most common commercial species from private commercial plantation in Thailand include teak (Tectona grandis), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus sp.) Eucalyptus, Rubberwood, and Acacia harvested in Thailand comes exclusively from plantation forest.
Between 1992 and 2015, plantations growing restricted species were allowed to register under the Forest Plantation Act B.E. 2535 (1992). In 2015, the Forest Plantation Act was amended to allow plantations growing 58 timber species specified in the Annex to register under the Forest Plantation Act (No. 2) B.E. 2558 (2015). Plantation estates can be on private or public land, including land in National Forest Reserve for which an official land documentation is required to prove occupancy, leasehold, concession, or use rights. Licensed operators can be individuals, businesses (such as cooperatives or limited companies), state agencies, or state-owned enterprises (such as the Forest Industry Organization).