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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Samling says green study in progress

Samling says green study in progress

T HE Samling company says it expects to have completed an environmental impact

survey of its planned logging methods within several months.

Company

public relations manager Nhem Vibol said forestry experts from Malaysia and the

Philippines had been in Cambodia to help with the survey.

The company

proposed to divide its 787,000-hectare concession into 30 sections, and log one

section each year.

By doing that, each section of land would be left for

30 years, after the initial logging, for trees to grow back.

Vibol said

the plan, subject to government approval and monitoring by forestry officials,

would protect both the local and national environment.

Samling was

waiting to complete its environmental survey, and build roads and timber

processing factories in its concession area, before beginning

logging.

The 60-year Samling concession covers forest in Kratie,

Mondulkiri, Kompong Cham, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces.

Vibol said

the company had already opened a base in Kratie province and begun building a

network of top-quality roads.

Meanwhile, Minister of Environment Mok

Marith has urged the government to ensure logging contracts such as that with

Samling be carefully monitored.

He said he did not trust any logging

company 100 per cent, and believed that "if we are lacking in our control,

destruction [of forests] will occur".

Marith acknowledged the government

was trying to improve the national budget by selling logging concessions, and

that careful investment in forestry resources was better than the anarchy of

illegal loggers.

But environmental impact surveys by concession holders

were vital, he said, and had to take into account soil erosion, river flows and

possible damage to birds and other animals.

Hay Hen, director of the

Kratie provincial forestry department, said he had not had any discussions with

Samling about their work there.

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