Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials hail success of logging crackdown

Officials hail success of logging crackdown

Officials hail success of logging crackdown

THE enforcement of forestry laws improved in the early part of 2010, according to officials at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Administration, following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent warning that military officers should not engage in timber trafficking.

Tim Sipha, director of the Department of Legislation and Enforcement at the Forestry Administration, said that officials have recorded 231 cases of illegal logging and confiscated 510 cubic metres of timber so far this year. In the whole of 2009, the administration recorded 675 instances of illegal logging and seized 2,622 cubic metres of illicit timber.

Tim Sipha said that following a serious warning from the prime minister late last month and a concerted crackdown by local officials, he observed that illegal logging seemed to decrease. “We noticed that military officers who had been involved in illegal logging began to cease their actions, and illegal logging also began to decrease,” he said.

“We will continue to carry out the prime minister’s order and to strengthen law enforcement in order to reduce illegal logging.”

At an annual meeting of military officials on January 28, Hun Sen warned his audience that officers should stop cutting down trees and backing illegal loggers and land grabbers.

“Stop immediately all involvement with illegal businesses and do not back illegal businessmen. I will show no mercy,” he said. “I have a five-star rank, but I will even fire somebody with the rank of a moon or a sun.”

Pen Bonna, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said deforestation in the province seemed to be on the decrease, but that thousands of cubic metres of timber left over from previous illegal logging operations were being prepared for export to Vietnam despite the recent local crackdowns.

Chan Soveth, an Adhoc investigator, called on the authorities to impose “severe punishments” on those caught profiting illegally from Cambodia’s forests. “The deforestation committed by powerful and rich people will lead to the complete loss of Cambodia’s forest,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • 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

  • Ex-RFA journos accuse outlet

    Two former Radio Free Asia journalists held a press conference yesterday claiming they are each owed $28,000 by the US-funded radio broadcaster, which shuttered its in-country operations in September amid a government crackdown on independent media. The journalists, Sok Ratha and Ouk Savborey, maintained they organised