Estimated results of the project “Environmental Empowerement for Grassroots and Non-State Actors in Thailand” will reflect the empowerment of communities on both legal and social dimensions; access to justice and enjoy basic human right respectively.
All activities of the project aim at the following results:
Result 1: Increased capacity and efficiency of local civil society organization in providing legal services to grassroots communities affected by environmental injustice.
In this perspective, both legal assistance actors such as environmental lawyers, paralegals, volunteers, and victims of envrionmental injustice will be empowered to increase their knowledge and capacity in dealing with environmental issues.
Regular capacity building workshops are for senior and junior lawyers who are expected to have increased legal knowledge capacity for legal consultations and case conducting . Two curriculas will be established by legal experts. This capacity building activity will enable lawyers to provide legal servies to grassroots in the most effective manner.
Victims of environmental injustice will be provided with on-site free legal advice and services during the proceedings. Activities undertaken for this purpose will also focus on the grassroots victims living in remote and inaccessible areas and those suffering from poverty to receive legal service without the extra cost of travelling to the city center, particularly, disabilities and ethnic groups.
Besides, as environmental litigations always have impact on a large scale and a siginificant issue leading to improvement in policies or laws, activities of the project will then put accent on the public support to trigger broader social change, in the form of dialogues with relevant academics, state agencies, the press and general public during the litigation process with the goal of campaigning for urgent resolutions without the Court’s judgment and after the court has delivered its judgment in order to push for or monitor the execution of judgment,
Result 2: Empowerment of communities through increased awareness and participation in decision making process both in project and policy level in exercising community rights and natural resources management.
The Community Legal Empowerment Training or CLET manuals will be produced to serve as a comprehensive educational tools for helping the grassroots to understand the state’s complicated legal and administrative proceedings. Seminar workshop will be also held to increase awareness of environmental, political and community rights of the grassroots as well as to empower the grassroots communities’ confidence in political participation level in the decision-making process regarding natural resources management.
In this regard, subgrants will be distributed to communities with their projects allowing the grassroots communities to fully exercise their participatory rights and engage in natural resources management and environmental protection.
Result 3: Strengthened cooperation between CSOs and state in order to increase state compliance and reccognition of community rights through supporting of exchange platforms.
Activities that will lead towards this expected results will contribute to the promotion of meaningful engagement between stakeholders at different levels of the policy making process. The results gained from open dialogues at the community level and public conferences and research papers promoting the most efficient law reforms and social changes will serve as a way to promote the role of CSOs in monitoring state compliance and transparency and increase the recognition of community participation in decision-making process.
Research papers will focus on major problems covering three pilot regions: 1) industrial pollution (Eastern and Southern regions) and 2) natural resources management and land rights disputes (Northern region).
State authorities attendance in these open dialogues and public conference activities is crucial whilst law and policy adjustments in natural resources management and environmental issues proposed by the research will be communicated to relevant state agencies and stakeholders during discussion activity.