Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Economic zone planned in Mondulkiri sanctuary

Economic zone planned in Mondulkiri sanctuary

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A landscape view from the Phnom Nam Lear Wildlife Sanctuary in Bou Sra commune’s Putert village in Mondulkiri’s Pech Chreada district. Recognition of the Phnom Nam Lear Community Protected Area in Mondulkiri province has been announced by the Ministry of Environment on April 6, 2021. Post Staff/File

Economic zone planned in Mondulkiri sanctuary

The Mondulkiri Provincial Administration has requested the Ministry of Interior to allocate more than 3,000ha of land in the Nam Lear Wildlife Sanctuary, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment, for the construction of a new border gate and administrative infrastructure.

According to a letter sent to the interior minister on February 5, the land would be designated a special economic development zone along the border. The land is in Pech Chreada district's Bou Sra commune.

The letter noted: “In the current situation, the provincial administration would like to manage and protect the land and avoid loss due to encroachment and illegal forest occupation.”

Provincial governor Svay Sam Eang said in the letter that the old Nam Lear border gate is surrounded by land concessions, which the government has authorised a company, Kovi Phama, to plant rubber plantations. There is no land for an administrative area, and traffic must travel through the rubber plantations, which will have serious side effects.

Sam Eang said: “The provincial administration plans to maintain the land and propose to relocate the old border gate to a new location more than 2km away in order to improve the border gate’s administrative infrastructure and turn the area into a special economic zone.”

He added that the administrative infrastructure of the new border gate will contribute to national economic growth and improve the living standards of the people in the border areas.

According to the letter, the proposed land will be used to construct various projects, such as residential, industrial, and agricultural areas and a reforestation farm.

Provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak told The Post on April 26 that the proposal had not yet been confirmed.

Interior ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak and environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra declined to provide details, saying they needed more time to look into the matter.

Mondulkiri’s Indigenous People Network coordinator Kreung Tola said if the government granted the request, it would amount to a nod for deforestation of a protected area with scarce resources.

“The proposal is not honest, and if there is a unanimous decision, it would be like destroying the land and the natural resources that remain in the sanctuary,” Tola said. “It also violates the rights of indigenous peoples, because this place is the people’s rotation rice field.”


  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180