3. The core content of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

3.2 Action plan for community, land, natural resources and the environment

3.2.1 Overview of the situation

The government has maintained an equilibrium in looking after its people to be able to have land and access natural resources fairly by establishing the National Land Policy Committee (NTC) in 2014 with the Prime Minister acting as the chairperson of the committee. The committee consists of executives from government agencies related to forestry, land, natural resources and the environment with the objectives to (1) Reduce social inequality and create opportunities to access to government services; (2) Maintain natural resources security by creating a balance between conservation and sustainable use, accelerate the process of land protection and reform, and conserve forest and wildlife; (3) Solve long-term problems of landlessness for farmers and encroachment on reserved forest by distributing ownership rights to people in the non-reserved area and issue measures to prevent the change of hands of land rights to non-farmers; (4) Organize land management systems such as establishing clear boundaries and speed up the process of the proof of rights; (5) Modernize the law and effectively and fairly enforce it; (6) Establish a land ownership registration database; (7) Expedite land allocation for the underprivileged who do not have land ownership; and (8) Certify the joint rights of the community to manage the land.

Land management for the community is a government action according to the important policy under the National Land Policy Committee by organizing land to the community in the form of collective plots. The land will come with no ownership but groups or communities are allowed to use land in cooperative or other suitable forms in accordance with the criteria and conditions specified by the National Land Policy Committee. The government agencies authorized by law, based on types of land, are eligible to set regulations, rules, obligations, and conditions under the approval of the National Land Policy Committee, according to the conceptual framework of the Sufficient Economy Philosophy and the community co-existing with forests. The benefits that people receive are to use or live on government land legally while occupations and marketing are systematically promoted and developed. This is to allow people to be secure, earn more income and live a better life, and it also helps prevent and solve the problems of land encroachment and land trading.

The government amended the Agricultural Land Lease Act B.E. 2524 (1981) to be the Land Lease for Agriculture Act (No. 2) B.E. 2559 (2016), which came into effect on 30 2559 (2016, to be more flexible. The tenant and the lessor are agreed appropriately with the government as a central mechanism supervising for a fair deal. The amendment of this law does not apply to tenants who are legal entities. The lease period and the rental fee are set in order to be fair to both the tenants and the landlord and prohibiting foreigners from renting land for agricultural purposes, in order to protect the rights in agricultural areas of Thailand to Thai national tenants only. …

For the problem of land encroachment of reserved forest of villagers in the area, at present, the government has allowed the community to participate in negotiations to find a solution together instead of forcing them to move out. The forestry officers and the villagers in the area will jointly define the boundary for the living areas and agree not to encroach into the restricted area, at the same time, villagers must help to monitor the encroachment and conserve the fertile forest areas, resulting in the decrease of deforestation and a considerable shifting of cultivation fields.

 

3.2.3 Action Plan (2019–2022)

Pillar 1: State duties in protecting (Protect)

 

No.

 

Issues

 

Activities

Responsible agencies Time-frame (2019–2022) Indicators (wide frame) Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs
1. Developing and improving laws, regulations, policies and related measures Review, amend, revise and propose laws, regulations and measures regarding land management, water resources and climate that are affected by business operations –   Ministry of Agriculture

–   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Ministry of Industry

2019–2022 Amount of laws, regulations, and measures relating to land management, water resources and climate that are affected by business operations that have been reviewed, revised, and regulated –   National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth

– SDG 6, 13, 14 and 15

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 5 and 7

Revise the laws that cause monopolies in agriculture –  Ministry of Agriculture 2019–2022 Number of laws reviewed and propose amendments to prevent or reduce monopolies in the agricultural sector –   National Strategy for National Competitiveness Enhancement

–   SDG 2

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 5 and 7

2. Public participation Organize discussions and public hearing to receive people’s opinions, including from related ethnic groups in the area. The public and communities should get access to complete information and participate in decision- making processes easily, as well as giving comments on the evaluation of the effect on the environment, land expropriation considerations, land management and forest conservation of the government, etc. before undertaking any project, including large-scale projects relating to energy management, power plants, petroleum, and drilling for the exploration of natural resources, in order to encourage people and communities to have a role in determining project operation areas, considering the way of life and culture. –   Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council

–   Ministry of Agriculture

–   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

–   Ministry of Energy

–   Ministry of Interior

–   Ministry of Industry

2019–2022 Number of activities and projects organized to listen to the opinions of the people relating to operations that affect the public –   National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth

– SDG 7, 11, 13, 14 and 15

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8

4. Special Economic Zones Consider appropriate measures for land expropriation, including measures for consultation and compensation for those affected by fair expropriation –   Ministry of Transport

–   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

–   Office of the National Economic and Social Council

–   Ministry of Industry

2019–2022 Appropriate measures for land expropriation along with fair compensation –   National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth

–   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

– SDG 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 31

8. Development of government operations Carry out an investigation and prove the rights of ownership and land use and issuing documents certifying legal rights –   – Ministry of Interior 2019–2022 Investigated and proved the rights of ownership and land use and legally issuing documents

certifying legal rights

–   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

–   SDG 11 and 16

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10

Consider determining measures to certify rural development and land policies with gender- based dimensions in mind. A person should not be forced to be evicted, if there is a need to act, there should be a Free Prior Informed Consent form and the evicted person must also be compensated –   Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

–   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

–   Ministry of Interior

2019–2022 –   Measure to certify rural development and land policies that considered gender dimensions

Compensation paid to the evicted person

–   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

–   SDG 5, 10 and 11

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7

9. Business operations Consider creating a mechanism to monitor businesses’ actions that violate land rights, natural resources and the environment –   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

–   Ministry of Industry

–   Ministry of Interior

2019–2022 –   A mechanism established to monitor the actions of businesses that violate land rights, natural resources and the environment –   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

– SDG 11, 13, 14 and 15

–   UNGPs Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10

 

Pillar 2: Responsibilities of the business sector in respecting of human rights

2.1 Compliance with laws, standards and principles of human rights relating to the environment, natural resources, community and land

  • State enterprises and the business sector must review the organization’s rules and regulations and improve them to comply with relevant laws, standards and principles of human rights related to the environment, natural resources, community and land, especially the UNGPs, to prevent human rights violations.
  • State enterprises and the business sector must promote and monitor their subsidiaries, including their supply chain in respect to relevant laws, standards and human rights principles related to the environment, natural resources, community and land.
  • State enterprises and the business sector must cooperate with the government and international organizations in the event of monitoring and review compliance with laws, standards and principles of human rights related to the environment, natural resources, community and land.
  • The state enterprises should have appropriate measures and remedies provided in case of land expropriation from people, including coordinating with relevant government agencies to inform the public in advance.

 

Pillar 3: Duties of the state and the business sector to provide remedy (Remedy)

 

No.

 

Issues

 

Activities

Responsible agencies Time-frame (2019–2022) Indicators (wide frame) Compliance with National Strategy/ SDGs/UNGPs
3. Prosecution Increasing efficiency in civil and criminal proceedings in cases related to the environment, natural resources and land rights – Office of the Attorney General 2019–2022 Relevant law enforcement officer strictly proceeded with civil and criminal cases related to environmental, natural resources and land rights –   National Strategy for Public Sector Rebalancing and Development

–   SDG 16

–   UNGPs Articles 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 31

5. Remedies Develop systematic measures to effectively remedy the affected persons from managing natural resources or conducting business that violates land rights, natural resources and the environment, covering physical and mental damage and in line with the needs of affected people and communities from business/government projects –   Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment

–   Ministry of the Interior

–   Ministry of Justice

–   Ministry of Industry

2019–2022 Government sectors, state enterprises, and businesses have measures to remedy the affected persons from managing natural resources or conducting business that violates land rights, natural resources and the environment –   National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth

–   SDG 11 and 16

–   UNGPs Articles 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 31

Establish a systematically plan for land restoration, natural resources and the environment in places affected by business operations –   Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

–   Ministry of Interior

2019–2022 Government, state enterprises and businesses with systematically plans for land restoration, natural resources and the environment in places affected by business –   National Strategy for Eco-Friendly Development and Growth

– SDG 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16

–   UNGPs Articles 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 31