A representative with Duong Sruoch Group in Preah Vihear yesterday denied allegations that that the company had been illegally clearing forest outside the boundaries of social land concessions it had been licensed to log.
Duong Sruoch Group was specifically named in a directive issued Monday by the Council of Ministers to revoke all licences that had been granted to private companies to log and collect timber from social land concessions and state-owned land. The measure followed a request from the Ministry of Environment earlier this month.
Company representative Ly Putheara claimed that General Director Duong Sruoch can still make a request to continue work inside a 1,545-hectare social land concession in Choam Ksan district’s Ramdoh Sre commune, despite an official from the Forestry Administration on Tuesday saying the Ministry of Agriculture had cancelled the company’s licence last month.
In late January, Choam Ksan District Governor Chea Kim Seng said the company had been subcontracted to clear the concession and to build a road, but instead had only stripped the area of timber.
Keo Omalis, deputy director for the Forestry Administration couldn’t be reached for comment.
“My company has some timber remaining, so we can make a request to collect the remaining wood inside our SLC,” Putheara claimed.
The Ministry of Agriculture cancelled the company’s permit to collect timber on January 11. Two weeks later, six Forestry Administration officials visited Putheara and asked him to sign a contract saying he wouldn’t violate the order, or would face punishment under the Forestry Law, according to a copy of the contract.