Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists tell US to step up forest protection efforts

Activists tell US to step up forest protection efforts

A man examines logged timber in an area of Prey Lang forest in Preah Vihear province earlier this week. Photo supplied
A man examines logged timber in an area of Prey Lang forest in Preah Vihear province earlier this week. Photo supplied

Activists tell US to step up forest protection efforts

Conservationist Marcus Hardtke yesterday blasted USAID and Winrock for “four years of mismanagement” as the Forest Monitoring Working Group put out a call for “urgent action” from the American bodies.

“They’re not addressing the core problem,” Hardtke said, adding that the two groups were ignoring the corruption that drives illegal logging.

Yesterday’s statement warned that rampant illegal logging in community forests and protected areas of Prey Lang – where Winrock has USAID-funded programs – meant resin trees would be “completely wiped out” by 2017.

The statement appealed for “strong political commitment” to combat complicity by authorities and government officials.

Curtis Handley, of Winrock, said his organisation had done plenty, and “provided equipment and trained patrols to help protect forests”.

But, Hardtke said, “All their workshops and their surveys and their feel-good stuff are not saving a single tree.”

US Embassy spokesman David Josar said that USAID “is committed to protecting and preserving Cambodia’s forests”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a