Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Charcoal trade unlawful: NGO




Charcoal trade unlawful: NGO

Trucks carry charcoal in Battambang.
Trucks carry charcoal in Battambang on Friday. Photo Supplied

Charcoal trade unlawful: NGO

Between 40 and 80 tonnes of charcoal, made from trees logged inside protected areas of community forests in Battambang’s Samlot district, have been illegally exported to Thailand over the last year, an NGO officer said yesterday.

Chan Socheat, an operational officer of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, said that for the past year, trucks have been exporting coal through a checkpoint in Samlot without any interception by local authorities or border officers. Socheat said the truck drivers did not have licenses, but told him they paid authorities who guard the road.

“This really damages much of our natural resources,” he said.

Chheun Chhorn, an ethnic community representative, said Samlot was home to many charcoal kilns – mud huts used to turn wood into coal over several weeks. He explained that locals and migrants have been secretly logging, first stripping the land surrounding, and now within, the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary.

“As far as I know, the exportation seems to be conducted illegally. The local authority just allows it to happen,” said Prak Phan, head of Cambodia-Thailand Border Communication at checkpoint 400. However, he emphasised that he had not been at the checkpoint lately, and couldn’t verify this.

Legal exportation requires permission from the forestry administration.

District police chief Ly Buoy said that he was not aware of the issue, while the district governor could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.