Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forestry Administration shuts down 144 NTFP violating charcoal kilns

Forestry Administration shuts down 144 NTFP violating charcoal kilns

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Siem Reap Forestry Administration officers destroy a charcoal kiln in in Svay Leu district’s Boeung Mealea commune in February. FB

Forestry Administration shuts down 144 NTFP violating charcoal kilns

A Siem Reap Provincial Forestry Administration team has shut down 144 illegal charcoal kilns – with 76 owners being made to sign contracts agreeing to cease manufacture. The operations were conducted on April 8 and 9 in Preah Theat, Kraing, Pothring and Chong Spean villages of Chi Kraeng district’s Khvav commune.

Forestry Administration director Mong Bunlim said on April 10 that the operation was aimed at those charcoal kilns that were using non-timber forest products (NTFP) without permission.

He added that the administration did not take action against the owners of the kilns. They did not issue fines, but advised them to dismantle the kilns on their own. However, he confirmed that if after 30 days, those who signed contracts to dismantle them still refused to do so, forces from the administration would demolish them.

He went on to say that the administration had mounted the campaign because the kilns were illegal. They were not traditional Khmer kilns, and posed a threat to the sustainability of NFTPs.

“If they made one or two kilns in the backyard of their houses, and produced ten or twenty bags, that would be fine because they have been doing this for a long time. Article 40 of the Law on Forestry says that the local people have traditionally relied on the forest in their day to day lives. We went after those who went beyond what tradition allows, as they are breaking the law,” he said.

Adhoc’s Siem Reap human rights coordinator Chan Chamroeun said on April 10 that the operation made perfect sense, as long as it was carried out transparently and in good faith, and did not target the poor.

“If the crackdown on coal is because people built larger kilns than what the administration permits, and if it was applied equally to rich and poor, then we support it. If it was punishing the poor, and they were not destroying the forest, then this latest crackdown could affect their livelihoods,” he said.

He added that most of the brick, coal and tile kilns – or tobacco drying kilns – were built at least 5km from permanent forest reserves. The area was environmentally managed to prevent deforestation.

“If the kilns are small, they should not need permits for them. We should target larger operations. If they are on a small scale, they are merely creating income to support poorer family members. We shouldn’t close 100 per cent of the kilns, because there is a demand for charcoal in the country,” Chamroeu said.

Bunlim said that the operation was not yet complete, but it was time to celebrate Khmer New Year. The operation was temporarily suspended, and would resume after the celebrations.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to