This chapter discusses the deforestation of Khao Kho district, situated in Thailand’s central highlands, in the 1970s and restoration efforts in the 1990s. Over 75% of the district was forested until 1968, when as a counterinsurgency strategy the Royal Thai Army began to build roads, deforest the district and encourage agricultural settlement in this heretofore intact forest. Deforestation and maize cultivation on these steep hillsides, often with already-poor soil quality degraded in situ, led to rapid degradation with farming untenable by 1990. A UNDP-funded reforestation project – managed by the Army – was initiated in 1990.
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