Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dumpsite at Samlot still awaits green light

Dumpsite at Samlot still awaits green light

Dumpsite at Samlot still awaits green light

Doubts have been cast on long-standing plans for a 34-hectare dumpsite in Pailin’s Samlot Protected Forest following an inspection by the environment minister on Saturday.

The area, which is under the joint protection of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP), was canvassed as a potential dumpsite by the Ministry of Environment in 2010. Since then, locals have cleared some 20 hectares of the land and begun to cultivate it for farming with the blessing of provincial authorities.

Ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap yesterday said that following the inspection, the minister has called for further research before the project would be approved.

“[We want to know] all the indicators affecting the decision before we can determine if the location is appropriate for dumping,” he said.

However, a ranger participating in last week’s visit, who wished to remain anonymous as he was not authorised to speak to the media, told the Post that the minister had instructed provincial authorities to find a new site as the mountainous terrain was unfit for the purpose.

“I heard with my own ears that the minister said he does not agree with it and told the provincial director of the department [Kem Sokha] to find a new place,” the ranger said.

But Sokha denied that the project had been ruled out and said in an interview that an evaluation was still under way together with the ministry.

“We want to know if and how it would work, which depends on the site assessment and environmental effects,” Sokha said.

The MJP was not available for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,