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Prey Lang advocates call for new forest status

A group of NGOs have asked the government to reassess its granting of economic land concessions in Cambodia’s Prey Lang forest, suggesting the adoption of a decree that would permit more protected forest and safeguard biodiversity.

NGO Forum executive director Tek Vannara said the group, which included the Prey Lang Working Group (PLWG) and the Indigenous Peoples and Forestry Network, appealed to the government to reinforce laws against illegal logging, and to register and accept customary forest communities.

“We urge the government to ensure procedures to register Prey Lang forest as a protected area,” he said.

Heum Sopheap, a representative of the PLWG from Kampong Thom, said challenges, such as forest clearance by migrants, haphazard logging by ELC operators and illegal timber harvesting are threatening life for the forest’s inhabitants.

“Please inspect and take measures on forest destruction, and give the right to protect forests back to the Prey Lang community,” he said.

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