The Royal Cambodian Government has given another slice of the Boeung Per Wildlife Sanctuary to the agro-industry.
A report in the Royal book released on October 12 states that 1,410 hectares had been granted to two unidentified private businesses for development, particularly the planting of rubber trees.
Director of Boeung Per Wildlife Sanctuary Von Theoun said that there are now 10 companies developing about 100,000 of the 242,500 total hectares of land within the sanctuary.
“They [land concessions] not only affect the forest and animals, they also affects villagers, because their standard of living depends on the trees,” said Noun Skoun, a villager from Preah Vihear province who lives near the sanctuary.
Director of the Natural Resource Protection group Chut Wutty said high-level officials often grant land within wildlife sanctuaries to private companies without thinking about the future.
“When some companies receive economic land concessions, the first thing they do is start cutting trees to sell,” he said.
Ir Nody, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries could not be reached for comment yesterday.