ROLE OF PUBLIC PARTICIPAITON IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSENT IN THAILAND
Keywords:Public Participation, Environmental Conflict, EIA, Power Plant, Thailand
An integration of public participation in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is
significant in terms of its implication for sound decision and a sustainability of development projects.
Accordingly, the Thai EIA system provides a public participation process for stakeholders in an assessment
and review of the EIA study process. There are a number of different participatory techniques to facilitate
public participation. However, in Thailand traditional public participation methods like public hearing is
preferred. The public hearing process in the Thai context, stakeholders including the project proponents and
the opponents are brought together in a forum to express their view points and recommendations for the
proposed projects in order to influence the decision-making process. Frequently, this process leads to violent
conflict among stakeholders. This study aimed at trying to close the gap between regulators and civil
communities with respect to public participation in the Thai EIA system. A case study approach was applied
for this study. The study revealed that appropriate public participation is essential and may lead to enormous
benefits for the proponents and stakeholders. Where public participation is ignored and ineffective conducted,
environmental conflicts and problems may be created for project implementation and sustainability.