It Takes a Rooted Village: Networked Resistance, Connected Communities, and Adaptive Responses to Forest Tenure Reform in Northern Thailand
AbstractConflicts persist between forest dwelling communities and advocates of forest conservation. In Thailand, a community forestry bill and national park expansion initiatives leave little space for communities. The article analyzes the case of the predominantly ethnic Black Lahu village of Huai Lu Luang in Chiang Rai province that has resisted the threats posed by a community forestry bill and a proposed national park. The villagers reside on a national forest reserve and have no de jure rights to the land. This article argues, however, that through its network rooted in place and connected to an assemblage of civil society, local government, and NGOs, Huai Lu Luang has been able to stall efforts by the Thai government that would detrimentally impact their use of and access to forest resources.
Their resistance is best understood not in isolation – as one victimized community resisting threats to their livelihoods – but in connection to place, through dynamic assemblages. A ‘rooted’ networks approach follows the connections and nodes of Huai Lu Luang’s network that influence and aid the village’s attempts to resist forest tenure reform.
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