Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bokor National Park land grabbing investigated

Bokor National Park land grabbing investigated

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Environment minister Say Sam Al inspects the disputed area in the national park in Kampot province on Monday. ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

Bokor National Park land grabbing investigated

The Ministry of Environment is investigating the case of people covertly and illegally encroaching on and occupying land in Preah Monivong Bokor National Park. The case prompted environment minister Say Sam Al to inspect the disputed area on July 26.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on July 27 that the minister led a delegation joined by the Kampot provincial governor and relevant specialists to inspect work in the park with the aim to improve the effectiveness of protecting and conserving natural protected areas.

He said the inspection revealed that land encroachment on state land in the park had occurred many times from July 2020 to June this year.

“The environment ministry noticed that 192 plots of state land were illegally occupied. The land covers more than 700ha in eight communes in Chhouk and Teuk Chhou districts of Kampot town,” he said.

Pheaktra said rangers who patrolled the area confirmed that the recent encroachment and occupation was on land that people had not depended on for a long time. Environmental officials in Kampot reported to the provincial administration so officials can confiscate the land.

Provincial governor Cheav Tay said the national park is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment by sub-decree, while the provincial administration merely accompanied the minister to inspect the encroachment site.

But he stressed that those who broke the law by encroaching on the land will be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

“The environment ministry is responsible for taking action and implementing legal procedures,” he said.

Pheaktra said the ministry had discovered that some commune chiefs in Chhouk and Teuk Chhou districts had issued documents repealing the sale and purchase of land and the transfer of land titles in natural protected areas.

This was an important step in preventing land encroachment and occupation. Encroaching on, occupying, purchasing, selling or transferring land ownership in national parks or wildlife sanctuaries was illegal, he said.

Land in natural protected areas belongs to the state and requires government approval to be used.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the