Role of Public Participation in an Environmental Impact Assessment System in Thailand: A Case of Rayong Industrial Estate (Ban Khai)

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Chutarat Chompunth


This research has the objective to study the public participation’s process in EIA (Environmental impact assessment), including evaluation of the effectiveness of the public participation and recommending new processes in developing the development of public participation processes in EIA in the case study of The Rayong Industrial Estate Project (Ban Khai) Zone. This research uses semi-structured interviews, non-participatory observation and site survey with the stakeholders of the project as methods of data collection. The study indicates that the public hearing has obstacles and does not cover all stakeholders. Furthermore, some citizens are not informed of the project which leads to the protest from the opposing groups against the participation in every activities. For the participation of citizens, it was found that citizens do not have enough time to prepare for the hearing of the project. As a result, the citizens do not have confidence in the decisions of government. In order for the development process with public participation in environmental impact assessment to be successful, government and project developers have to realize the importance of the participation of the public, transparency in operations and provide accurate and complete information about the project. Also, they have to be ready to receive the public’s feedback from the start of the project to know the real demand of the people in the area. The public needs to learn about the environmental impact assessment, participation of citizens and relevant legislations.

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