Rethinking Governance of Land, Haze Pollution, and Floods in Thailand

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

RE&D Research Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 23 May 2024


ANU Online Zoom


Assistant Professor Dr. Khanin Hutanuwatr, Dr. Chaya Vaddhanaphuti, Assistant Professor Dr. Phaothai Sin-ampol


Simon West

This seminar will consist of three short talks followed by discussion:

  1. ‘Industrialised Estuary: Carbon Emission Reduction and Land Contestation’ by Khanin Hutanuwatr Climate challenges urge growing interests around both urban carbon reduction and nature-based adaptation. This session demonstrates the case where these two concepts clash over space in estuary geography. It explores land use contestation between industrial use for EV-batteries production and agricultural use based on locally ecological knowledge rooting local capability to adapt to environmental extremes. The case provides us an arena for discussing uneven power of expertise, people, and institutions in relation to climate solutions.

  2. ‘Governing Uncertainties of Transboundary Haze Pollution’ by Chaya Vaddhanaphuti Over the past decades, upper Southeast Asia, including Northern Thailand have suffered from seasonal anthropogenic forest fire-transboundary haze pollution problem. Contributing factors, especially the ENSO cycle, forest territorialization, upland agrarian transformation, industrial expansion, and urban protein consumption, have become more uncertain and more political. This demanded a transformation of governance from a centralised system to a hybrid decentralised-participatory-technocratic system. Yet, fire and particulate matter could not be contained while more unintended uncertainties are produced including data politics, knowledge contestation, fire arsonist, the right to burn versus the right to breathe, and cagey international cooperation for solving transboundary haze issues.

  3. ‘Overcoming Participation-by-Invitation Flood Governance by Ecosystem-based Adaptation?’ by Phaothai Sin-ampol Floods have exerted either uncertainties or opportunities for rural livelihoods in Thailand. Meanwhile, initiatives for mixed measures between ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and engineering structures in managing rural floods have been introduced by international agencies, public authorities, and academic circles. These efforts aim to alleviate adverse impacts from floods and water insecurity and foster resilience under uncertain climate and socio-economic conditions. Under the ‘participation-by-invitation’ style of flood governance in Thailand, a major skepticism about equal benefit sharing remains. Regarding this issue, my presentation will provide arguments for reconstructing governance amidst this gradual transformation.

Speaker Bio: Khanin Hutanuwatr is currently a faculty member at the Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University. Khanin’s research interest centered around hazards research, systemic risks, urbanization, and climate challenges. His approach to hazards and risk are combined with the emphases on a social dimension drawing on perspectives such as vulnerability analysis, political ecology, equitable resilience, livelihood, political capability and knowledge infrastructure.

Chaya Vaddhanaphuti Chaya’s background is in human geography, with attention to political ecology, more-than-human geographies, and science & technology studies (STS). Chaya is interested in histories and cultures of weather, the construction of climate knowledge, and community-based climate adaptation. He is currently engaged in studying pyro-aerogeographies and pyro-aeropolitics of forest fire-haze pollution governance in northern Thailand, in terms of knowledge-making and policymaking processes, conflicts and resistance.

Phaothai Sin-ampol is an assistant professor in geography at the Department of Geography, Chiang Mai University. Graduating from the Fenner School of Environment & Society at ANU in 2023, he has continued to explore the governance of ecosystem-based adaptation, haze pollution, wastewater management, and guardians’ knowledge with a focus on participatory mechanisms of community-based and local policy initiatives. Currently, he is also interested in revisiting historical geographies of floods under a socio-hydrological framework.

Speaker website link (e.g. ANU or LinkedIn page):

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