Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Authorities summon forest patrol evidence

Authorities summon forest patrol evidence

Authorities summon forest patrol evidence

120821_06a

Villagers take a break during an organised patrol of Prey Lang forest last week. Photograph: supplied

Authorities in Kampong Thom province have made good on their promise to examine evidence of illegal logging unearthed by community investigators in the greater Prey Lang area, summoning seven representatives yesterday to present their findings.

The Prey Lang Community Network representatives were summoned to Sandan district hall to shed light on illegal logging in the Prey Sraong forest after organising a three-day, 70-person expedition to catch government officials, military police and companies.

Afterward, deputy Kampong Thom provincial governor Uth Sam Orn vowed to take urgent action if precise information about the location of logging was presented, and representative Roeun Sopheap said yesterday he was happy to oblige.

“I told them that it [the information] is completely authentic and [we] gave the name and the identity of the informer to the deputy provincial governor. I was told that there will be further investigation into this case,” he said. “The residents are happy to co-operate with the authorities and vice versa in order to combat crimes.”

Sopheap added he did not understand what authorities planned to do with the information handed over but that officials had asked them for further collaboration.

Sandan District Governor Sim Vanna said workshops would be conducted with residents and authorities to discuss preventative strategies to stop future forest crimes.

“The crime took place in the middle of Prey Sraong, but the mastermind wasn’t found. The authorities were uninvolved in any forestry crime in Prey Lang,” he said.

Prey Lang forest, a hotbed of activist resistance to logging, has no clear boundary, though the greater Prey Lang area is estimated to cover about 350,000 hectares of Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.

The Prey Lang community patrol team claims to have uncovered five illegally established plantations of 20 to 30 hectares in size and 500 hectares of cleared forest.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his