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

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there