Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forest watchdog PLCN named EU Green Week award finalist

Forest watchdog PLCN named EU Green Week award finalist

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PLCN is a network of local community members working to restore Prey Lang from illegal logging and is active in patrolling the forest to prevent crimes. Heng Chivoan

Forest watchdog PLCN named EU Green Week award finalist

The Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) has been shortlisted by the SDG Tech Awards (Denmark) jury as one of five finalists to win the EU Green Week category.

PLCN Project Officer Nou Narith told The Post on Tuesday that the SDG Tech Awards sent a congratulatory message to PLCN.

SDG Tech Awards wrote: “We have determined ‘Prey Lang – It’s Our Forest Too’ to be one of five finalists in the EU Green Week category. There were over 500 nominees with inspiring solutions, so you can be proud that your hard work and efforts are being recognised from among hundreds of other inspiring solutions.”

Narith said the PLCN team has a strong sense of responsibility for the protection and conservation of natural resources and the environment in Cambodia.

Natasha Friis Saxberg, vice-president of the Foundation for Social Responsibility and a member of the SDG Tech Awards Jury Panel, told The Post that PLCN has been selected as one of the finalists for the EU Green Awards 2020. The winner will be announced on October 22 in Denmark.

She said PLCN will receive another award in the near future – the fifth award the community has received since 2012.

PLCN won the “National Energy Globe Award 2019” from the World Energy Organisation last year for its efforts to protect forests and the environment.

And it received the “Innovation Prize” from the International Society for Tropical Foresters in 2017 and the UNDP Equator Initiative Prize in 2015.

The first award PLCN received was the Alexander Soros Foundation Award in 2012.

PLCN is a network of local community members working to restore Prey Lang from illegal logging and is active in patrolling the forest to prevent crimes.

The network works at the intersection of good governance for natural resources, peace-building and human rights-based approaches, and the use of new information and communication technologies, said PLCN.

The government, however, has banned it from patrols and accused the group of not being properly registered and existing only to criticise the efforts of government officials.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on Tuesday that he doesn’t applaud the news.

He said it encourages political activists to take refuge under the banner of environmental and forest activism to evade the rule of law.

Pheaktra said PLCN should be open-minded and acknowledge the sacrifices of ministry rangers and community members who respect the law and are involved in similar activities.

“Protecting and conserving natural resources, forests and wildlife is not just about one group, but the common task of us all,” Pheaktra said.

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