Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Forestry crimes drop by almost 15%

Forestry crimes drop by almost 15%

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Trees felled in the Snuol Wildlife Sanctuary in Kratie province. Many are concerned about illegal logging happening in the Kingdom’s protected areas such as this sanctuary. Heng Chivoan

Forestry crimes drop by almost 15%

In its report detailing forestry crimes for the first 10 months of the year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said there was a total of 945 cases – a decrease of 14. 78 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Of the number, 848 involved illegal logging, 45 related to wildlife trafficking and 52 concerned forest clearing. Of all the cases, 457 were sent to court and 488 ended in fines imposed by the Forestry Administration.

Authorities confiscated 50 cubic metres of logs, 421 cubic metres of timber, 10 cubic metres of rosewood and 1,367 wild animals weighing 1,350kg.

In the same period last year, there were 1,109 cases of forestry crimes, 610 of which were sent to court while the Forestry Administration imposed fines on 499 others.

Of the 1,109 cases, 1,029 involved illegal logging, 58 related to wildlife trafficking and 22 concerned forest clearing.

Forestry Administration legislation and law enforcement department director Suon Sovann said on Sunday that the declining number of forestry crimes is a result of stricter law enforcement and decentralization of power.

“The crime is decreasing because the Forestry Administration and relevant authorities have taken tougher measures and actions. We are strengthening law enforcement."

“We had delegated the tasks and power to local authorities so they can handle the cases directly and more effectively,” he said.