Changing land use, disaster risk and adaptive responses in upland communities in Thailand

Malin Beckman, Junko Mochizuki, Sopon Naruchaikusol


The Forensic Investigations of Disaster (FORIN) research approach was utilized to investigate the inter- relationships between land-use changes and adaptive capacity to climate risk in Northern Thailand, and how these are influenced by policy-related and economic activities at national, provincial and local levels. Scenario-based analysis indicated the necessity of community planning concerning future climate risk(s) and adaptive-capacity enhancement. The study highlighted numerous climate risks facing villagers, including flash floods, heavy rainfall, temperature extremes, and prolonged drought. The marginalized communities under study are located in National Park and Forest Reserve areas, and the limitations of their existing resources make them especially vulnerable to climate risk. In addition, recent land-use changes and increasing dependence on mono-culture crops planted on sloping land have rendered them more vulnerable to non-climate-based risks including pest outbreaks and market-price fluctuations. The study sees the need for further governmental support in the form of agricultural extension, community- based forest management, diversification and other livelihood strategies that would help to promote the resilience of these forest-dependent communities.


Disaster risk;upland;land use;Thailand;climate adaptation;

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