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Community forest areas designated

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has designated as protected community forest 3,531 hectares of land in Battambang province and 858 hectares in Pailin province, according to a directive signed by Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun and dated March 15. The purpose of the decision, the directive stated, is to manage, use and protect the biodiversity of these areas, as well as to provide benefits to nearby impoverished communities through the development of natural resources. A Forestry Administration report released in March stated that there were 424 areas of protected community forest covering 400,000 hectares across the country. The government, the report added, plans to expand that total to over 2 million hectares by 2030.

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