Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt land seizures continue with 250,000 hectares confiscated

Govt land seizures continue with 250,000 hectares confiscated

Govt land seizures continue with 250,000 hectares confiscated

4-story-2.jpg
4-story-2.jpg

Trees will be replanted on land that has been illegally deforested

GEORGE MCLEOD

Deforested land in Stung Treng province. The government is seizing illegally cleared land.

Over the last two years, the government has reclaimed 250,000  hectares of forest land that had been illegally occupied and frequently logged by private citizens and companies, Ty Sokhon, director general of  the Forestry Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told the Post last week.

The bulk of the seizures took place in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces, with 90  percent of the crackdowns being carried out by provincial authorities, and the remainder by the courts, he said. The seizures, which have exceeded the government's target confiscation goal of 240,000 hectares by the end of 2008, have led to 20,000 appeals concerning 90,000 hectares, he added.

Svay Sitha, secretary general of the National Authority for Resolving Land Disputes, said confiscated land would be redistributed as economic and social land concessions and that trees would be replanted in some of the logged areas.

"Illegal land occupation is still a problem," he said, adding that incentives for land grabs have been diminished by a government crackdown and a general downward pressure on land values.

Chan Soveth, conservation investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said "companies have destroyed forests without replanting as stipulated in their contracts ... there needs to be serious punishment for destroying important national resources".

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all