Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forest activists decry illegal logging




Forest activists decry illegal logging

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Logs are found in Prey Lang recently. Supplied

Forest activists decry illegal logging

Prey Lang forest activists in Kampong Thom province on Wednesday claimed that illegal logging is continuing unabated, no thanks to local authorities and powerful individuals whom they allege are aiding the perpetrators.

While acknowledging that forest clearing still exists in the area, forestry officials claimed the illegal activities are on a small scale.

The Prey Lang forest is home to at least 27 endangered animals and 20 endangered plant species. But it suffers badly from illegal logging.

Prey Lang activist Sok Plaok said his team including rangers and military police officers found evidence of clearing while patrolling the forest on October 13-15.

“We know that illegal logging is increasing. We found tractors and other equipment. There were hundreds of tractors."

“When we slept near the road, we saw a long line of trucks smuggling timber. They took away the wood and left the stumps. What remains now are shreds of timber that have no value,” he said.

Plaok claimed the authorities have turned a blind eye as the illicit activities took place not far from the forestry administration office.

Provincial Forestry Administration head Bun Sothy said he had not received any report about forest clearing in Prey Lang. He said the area is under the jurisdiction of the provincial environment department.

“I work for the forestry administration, which oversees different areas,” he said, referring reporters to provincial environment department officials.

Department director Tob Kakada could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Environment Ministry spokesperson Neth Pheaktra said officials met with Prey Lang activists on October 3 to receive their report on illegal logging in the forest.

“We acknowledge that forest crimes still exist, but they were within limits. It’s not on a massive scale but involves only minor offenders."

“We’ll take more action to reduce the offence. The community’s participation will help strengthen [the laws.] We encourage them to do so,” he said.

Prey Lang spans four provinces including Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Kratie and Stung Treng. It was designated a protected wildlife sanctuary by sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in March 2016.

MOST VIEWED

  • China and India closer to ‘biggest’ showdown

    Indian and Chinese troops remained engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in several disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh on Thursday, signalling that the confrontation could become the biggest military face-off after the Doklam episode in 2017. Ladakh is a union

  • Central bank to shun small US banknotes

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is considering not accepting smaller denominated US dollar banknotes – $1, $2 and $5 – from banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) which it said are flooding its stockpile as the demand for those notes is low. While some banking insiders welcomed the move as

  • PM lauded in Covid-19 fight

    World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen thanking him for following the WHO’s guidance and commending Cambodia’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19. In his letter made public by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Workers return, hope for salaries

    More than 600 factory workers in the capital’s Chaom Chao commune in Por Sen Chey district returned to work after the factory’s owner promised to pay their salaries in instalments until the middle of next month. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 600 workers gathered

  • Women detained for forcing kids to beg

    Two women were sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday for forcing six children to beg for money for several months at the Chhouk Meas market in Krang Thnong commune in the capital’s Sen Sok district. Phnom Penh Department of Anti-human Trafficking and

  • Vietnamese tents baffle border guards

    Kandal and Takeo provincial authorities bordering Vietnam have expressed concern after witnessing irregularities by the Vietnamese authorities, including the deployment of soldiers to erect 114 camps just 30m from the border. Takeo provincial governor Ouch Phea told The Post on Thursday that Vietnamese soldiers had erected 83