Rainforest Journalism Fund grantee Patchar Duangklad’s report "Encroaching Forests and Encroaching People — When Reclaiming may not be an Answer" received an honorable mention from the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists.
Published by workpointTODAY and also available on Punch Up’s website, her story explores the sociocultural dynamics between humans and forests in Thailand. Duangklad investigates how the Thai government’s 40 percent Forest Reclamation Policy clashes with the experiences of rural villagers who reside peacefully within Thailand’s forests. Specifically, the story narrates how villagers use forest areas for varying socioeconomic and cultural purposes, putting their definition of forest in conflict with government interests.
The Nature and Environmental Conservation News Awards, held on March 5, 2022, recognize reporting on environmental impacts.
“It is a great honor to have been chosen for the honorable mention award from the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists this year," Duangklad said. "The conflicts of forest land rights between people and government has been a long-term ongoing problem in Thailand. We do hope that our data story could help the public see part of this big problem better through data and digital storytelling techniques. Moreover, we wish that the story would also help ignite an awareness and conversation over the issue for a solution process in the future.”
Duangklad and her team used interactive storytelling to provide data analysis on deforestation and to trace the intimate stories of how rural villagers preserve their way of living with forests. Their methods included data visualizations, video footage, and drone photography. Overall, the story reveals how the ambitious pursuit of forest reclamation has unexpected consequences, such as the displacement of villagers and the loss of their livelihoods.
In addition to writing, Duangklad co-founded Punch Up, a storytelling studio that uses data and design to explore Thailand’s contemporary issues.