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FOREST GRANTS: Land given to forest communities

The Forestry Administration has granted 21,000 hectares of forest in Kampong Thom province to 14 forest communities, members of which will be given free reign to use forest products, provided they do so in a sustainable manner, provincial officials said Thursday. Kampong Thom Deputy Governor Sorm Sophat said this was the second time such a grant had been approved by the government in his province. He added that 10,572 people live in the communities, which are in Sandann, Kampong Svay and Prasath Balaing districts. Ung Sam Ath, deputy director of the Forestry Administration, said the residents will be able to cut down trees as long as they are not selling the lumber. “But they must plant it again,”
he said. In addition, they will be given permission to hunt wildlife without interference from government officials. “We will use them only for our daily living,” said Noun Hak, a representative of the communities. Forestry Administration Director Ty Sokun said the government had granted 350,000 hectares of land to forest communities nationwide.



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