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Call for GAT to get chop

Call for GAT to get chop

THE environmental watch-dog organization Global Witness (GW) has called on the Cambodian

Government to cancel the GAT logging company's concession in the Cardamoms.

GW says GAT has repeatedly breached its contract, illegally cut logs, and has disregarded

directives issued by the Department of Forestry and Wildlife's Director General,

Ty Sokhun.

The Government should restate its commitment to preserving the forests and wildlife

of the Cardamom Mountains, says GW, by setting a timetable for the removal of all

logging concessionaires from the region.

GW's Director, Patrick Alley, said the Government's announcement at the May 2000

Consultative Group meeting in Paris of its "firm intention" to conserve

the Cardamoms was encouraging, but allowing the five concessionaires to continue

logging there is inconsistent with this goal.

"A failure on the part of the RGC to cancel GAT's contract is a major threat

to the reform process. The concessionaires must not be seen to be out of bounds for

the Forest Crime Monitoring Unit (FCMU)," said GW.

"This will only encourage the concessionaires to continue their illegal activities

and to act as a cartel."