During its latest round of patrols this week, the Prey Lang Community Network confiscated 12 chainsaws from alleged illegal loggers in Preah Vihear, which it plans to hand over to the local Forestry Administration.
Seng Sokheng, who took part in the three-day patrol, said the issue of illegal deforestation in the sprawling woodland was ongoing, having “not decreased or increased” since the group’s last visit.
The patrol covered the Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom portions of the forest, which also encompasses parts of Kratie and Stung Treng.
“In Kampong Thom province, we found only a new place for cutting trees, we didn’t find loggers,” Sokheng said.
“In Preah Vihear, we confiscated 12 chainsaws . . . We will hand them over to the provincial Forestry Administration, but we don’t know when yet.”
Since being established in 2007, network volunteers have organised numerous patrols in which they have seized illegal timber and confronted loggers.
Sokheng said the patrols, which normally include about 30 to 100 villagers, would continue as long as logging did. “We will keep patrolling two or three times every month.”