The Kingdom of Thailand is a country at the center of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula, composed of 76 provinces, with Bangkok as the capital city. Thailand is bordering Myanmar, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Malaysia. The Kingdom is 513,120 km2 and has a population of over 66 million people. Majority of Thai’s (over 90 per cent) are Buddhists, although other major religions are practiced. Since 2019, the country is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. However, in practice, structural advantages in the national constitution have ensured the military´s hold on power.
Internal conflicts in Thailand, as well as conflicts in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar near Thailand’s borders have resulted in contamination of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). More than 3,000 casualties have been recorded to date and large amounts of land are still out of bounds due to landmines and ERW; the main problem is a high level of landmine contamination in the Cambodia-Thailand border areas.
Norwegian People's Aid in Thailand
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) started activities in Thailand in 2000, carrying out the national Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) of Thailand in collaboration with the Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC). NPA resumed support to TMAC in 2010, mainly providing technical advice on TMAC’s capacities in strategic planning, information management and introducing the concept of land release. Today our work is a combination of strategic advice to TMAC and conducting Technical-Survey (TS) operations.
NPA is working to assist Thailand in the North-eastern and Eastern provinces of the country (Thai-Laos and Thai-Cambodian borders). After the LIS the total landmine contamination was estimated at 2,557 km2 in 27 provinces. By mid-June 2023, the projected contamination of mined areas had been reduced to 20km2, leaving the remaining problem at less than 1% of the original starting point. Currently NPA is conducting TS operations, utilizing the full mine action tool-box, to further decimate the landmine problem with an aim to have Thailand becoming landmine free by the end of 2026. NPA Thailand has adopted an active climate and environmental management policy, covering all its activities, both operational and others, to ensure minimal impact on the local environment.