Dialogue Forum 8: The Environmental Challenges under Thailand’s Constitutions: Progress and Setbacks

The monthly forum to “bridge the gap” and “connect the dots” of different views and opinions as well as bits of information to create one big picture for better understanding in society

In times when society has become widened with gaps and differences of views and opinions, one issue could be escalated into a crisis if there are no platforms available for appropriate discussion among all concerned.

The media, while informing and inspiring their audience, could also take an educating and facilitating role to serve such the purpose, acting as a bridge and helping connect the dots into one big picture.

In collaboration with its partners and with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Thailand Office), Bangkok Tribune Online News Agency has come up with a monthly forum on issues of importance, under the project, “Dialogue Forum”.

This is to facilitate and provide a space for discussions and exchanges of dialogues and views as well as information regarding critical social and environmental issues both in Thailand and the Mekong region, thus not only bridging the gap and connecting the dots, but also helping forge understanding among the public and the parties concerned, encouraging them to make a decision about the issues better or even find a common ground and seek solutions together.

Protection of natural resources and the environment as well as access to the resources have long been an issue no less critical than politics or economic issues. To say the least, the issue itself is political.

In 1997, the Constitution firmly acknowledged people’s rights to the resources and the environment as well as their rights to join the state in protecting those resources and the environment for the first time, shifting an ownership status as well as the relationship between the state and people over the resources and the environment towards more of partnership.

However, it had hardly been enforceable and materialized due to the lack of legal mechanisms to support it up until it was scrapped due to the coup in 2006.

The 2017 Constitution is seen as another attempt to address the issue. This time it has tried to materialize people’s rights with more concrete approaches; be they stating firmly the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, stating the duty of the state to fulfil such the task for the people, stating several prime environmental issues to be tackled under the state’s policies, and last but not least, stating natural resources and environmental management as part of the reform’s efforts.

As pointed by some constitutional drafters, all these are meant to help secure people’s rights over the resources and the environment as supposed to be.

Still, some flaws and loopholes are observed, particularly the point that what addressed in the Constitution have rather steered the efforts backwards, while failing to keep up with rapid change.

When there are growing calls for a major amendment of the 2017 Constitution, it would also be a good time for concerned parties to look back what has been attempted to as much as what has been achieved and failed, regarding our natural resources and environment, and find the best way to address them together for the best interests of the country and the people at large as a new opportunity is provided as such.

The Dialogue Forum, therefore, would cordially like to invite you to explore the way to address natural resources and environmental management fort the best interests of the country and the people in this challenging time in its Dialogue Forum 8: The Environmental Challenges under Thailand’s Constitutions: Progress or Setbacks at SEA-Junction 408, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, on November 24, 2020 (4.30 pm-7 pm)

**In accordance with the COVID-19 regulation, please confirm your participation ahead of the event (limited seats available) at FB Messenger: Bangkok Tribune News FB Page

***You can also watch the event live at FB Live: Bangkok Tribune News FB Page

Objectives

• To develop and introduce a new body of knowledge and innovation in regard to an independent, in-depth media to the public (Indie & In-depth)

• To empower public members to be able to keep up with any developments as well as repercussions in the society, as well as the role of the media in helping shape the society (Empowering)

• To promote participation in development of such the innovative and independent media so that it can remain opened and accessible to all (Open & Accessible)

Partners

• Thai Society of Environmental Journalists 
• Project SEVANA South-East Asia
• SEA-Junction
• Bangkok Tribune News Agency

Supported by

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Thailand Office)