The government wants Thailand to become the bio hub of ASEAN by 2027, and Isaan will play a role with its own bio hub in Ban Phai district. But this state-sponsored development is too often pushed through without meaningful participation of local people, writes guest contributor Maenwat Kunchon na Ayutthaya.
The government’s sugarcane strategy calls for the construction of 29 new sugar mills in Isaan, each with its own biomass power plant. Locals are concerned the mills and power plants will jeopardize efforts to promote organic agriculture, take communal resources, pollute water sources, and impact long-term health and well-being of communities.
Locals in Mueang Phia were ready to put up fierce opposition against the construction of a sugar mill and power plant close to their homes. But in an unexpected move this week, the company announced to postpone the project that is feared will pollute the air and damage the delicate ecosystem of Lake Lawa.