Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big timber stash found in Pursat

Big timber stash found in Pursat

Big timber stash found in Pursat

An NGO operating in the Pursat section of the protected Cardamom Mountains uncovered 50 cubic metres of luxury timber yesterday.

Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, said he and four colleagues uncovered the illicit stash as part of an ongoing investigation, the results of which he promised to turn over to the Environment Ministry next week.

“That timber belongs to prominent traders, but they use the [local] people as a cover,” Hean said, going on to allege that environmental protection officials play a role in the practice too.

Provincial environment department director Pan Morodok said he had heard such allegations before, but considered them “groundless”.

Hean’s discovery came on the heels of the Monday declaration by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Forestry and Fisheries Administration employees will be transferred to provincial departments of agriculture. Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon followed up with a letter instructing the relevant departments to begin preparations for the transfer.

The director of the ministry’s human resources department, Ty Channa, said yesterday he was busy making arrangements for the transfer, which he hoped would enhance effectiveness.

Marcus Hardtke, who has two decades’ experience with Cambodian conservation issues, feared accountability would suffer. “If it all comes down to the provincial governor . . . [then] Hun Sen needs to keep an eye on the governors, and he can only do that by cooperating with civil society, because they’re his only source of information”.

Additional reporting by Jack Davies

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • ‘Action needed to stop road deaths doubling by next year’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place. At least five people on average are killed on Cambodian roads every day. The interior

  • Cambodian rice to lose EU duty-free status

    The Cambodian rice sector is set to lose its duty-free export status to the EU today – its major rice market – after the European bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports. The decision will be