Parks, people and power: negotiating resource entitlements within a Karen Village in Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand

Allan, Jennifer
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University of Guelph

This thesis investigates how Karen villagers living in a national park in northern Thailand access the resources necessary for their livelihoods. The villagers live admid a global debates regarding the ability of local communities to conserve natural resources and their place within protected areas. The Thai state national park resource rules overlap with Karen traditional customs and current practices. This mixed resource regime does not affect all villagers equally. Opening up the community, using Amartya Sen's entitlement approach, reveals important gender and wealth cleavages conditioning resource access and entitlements. Gender is a fundamental factor influencing who can access resources and by what means. The mixed regime is gendered and reinforces gender stereotypes. At the heart of the daily experience of villagers, and this thesis, is how the structures imposed by the state, gender inequality and economic inequality constrain individual agency over resource use and conservation.

Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand, Karen village, Resources, Gender, Power