Villagers have found more than 100 cubic metres of timber and three chainsaws in Prey Lang forest during a six-day patrol for illegal logging, community officials said yesterday.
Scouring the forest on motorcycles and on foot, more than 300 villagers from four provinces found 100 cubic metres of timber and two chainsaws in Kampong Thom province and 20 cubic metres of timber and one chainsaw in Kratie province, said Sim Sean, Kampong Thom’s Prey Lang Community Network representative.
“We will leave the forest tomorrow and submit the evidence of forestry crimes to the government to seek its collaboration in prevention,” Sean said.
“We didn’t burn the logs. We left it for the authorities to take measures themselves, because we are afraid that they would accuse us of illegal activity,” he said, adding that his task force took pictures of the timber and made a report to the relevant police officials.
“We are extremely disappointed to still find forestry crimes in spite of our protection efforts,” he said.
According to Thai Bunleang, a community network representative in Kratie, “If the government takes no measures against [illegal logging], the entire Prey Long forest will be seriously devastated.”
Uth Sam Orn, Kampong Thom provincial governor, said he did not know of the forestry crimes because villagers have not made the report yet.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]