Indigenous Peoples in Ranong – Jackson Zubal

pasted image 0 (1)Ranong is a bioreserve in Thailand that is known for its bountiful mangrove forests. The native thai people of this region have taken advantage of the services provided by these trees. The trees are host to a plethora of animals that the native people hunt for food, and the indigenous people also take lumber from these trees. In recent years there has been over harvesting of the mangrove trees, and international organizations such as UNESCO (which established the bioreserve) have made an effort to regulate a stabilize the tree population. However there has been an issue with the role of the indigenous people in the preservation efforts, as they have none. The natives have not been informed about the purpose of the reserve, and so they don’t have the ability to contribute to the efforts of preserving the mangroves. Their awareness in these issues is key to to understand the purpose of the reserve, and why it needs protecting. Their cooperation in the reserve is key in protecting the mangrove trees as they are the people who are harvesting them for provisioning reasons. Besides the need for the indigenous people to understand why they need to limit the harvest of mangroves, there should be a cooperation between the reserve and the people that live there because in some aspects the natives felt they have lost ownership over these lands, which can lead to a tenuous relationship with the reserve. Once the indigenous people gain the knowledge of the purpose of the reserve, they will be heralding the protection of the mangrove trees. The ecosystem will become self sustaining once again, the mangrove population will return, and the natives will have ownership of the land once again.

Reference:

Macintosh, D.J., Ashton, E.C. and V. Tansakul, 2002. Utilisation and Knowledge of Biodiversity in the Ranong Biosphere Reserve, Thailand. ITCZM Monograph No7.

Image Source: https://kohphangannews.org/travel/visa-run-from-koh-phangan-island-to-ranong-and-burma-438.html

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