Development problems in Thailand
By Stuart Wax
Environmental consequences of development in Thailand were the topic of a Community Aid Abroad forum in Sydney on May 29.
In 1988-9, the Thai economy grew by 10%. The country is looking to become the fifth "tiger" of Asia. However, much of the growth is ecologically harmful.
Sue Cunningham, recently returned from a three-week study tour of southern Thailand, cited examples such as the breeding of prawns for export, which is ruining the land through chemicals used to increase the size of the prawns.
Mangrove deforestation has become a major concern because of the growth of charcoal production. Turtles and coral have been destroyed by the use of explosives in fishing.
CAA is seeking to help villagers protect the environment on which they depend. It is an uphill battle, however, as the villagers come into conflict with powerful international companies.