Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group defends findings of logging in REDD-protected forest




Group defends findings of logging in REDD-protected forest

Loggers prepare to move a piece of rosewood at Dangrek Mountain on the Thai-Cambodian border in 2014.
Loggers prepare to move a piece of rosewood at Dangrek Mountain on the Thai-Cambodian border in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Group defends findings of logging in REDD-protected forest

A UK-based environmental organisation, which carried out a study that claimed the military was involved in systematically clearing forest area that was meant to be protected under a carbon credit scheme, has defended its findings following a broker’s dismissal of the claims as outdated.

Julia Christian, with the conservation group Fern, which published its report in November, said claims that the information in the study was based on information two to four years old were a “strange critique”, adding that “it just doesn’t ‘work’ to say that”.

Conservation experts have said Oddar Meanchey’s carbon crediting scheme – Cambodia’s first REDD+ project – has been highly problematic since it first started in 2008 at a time when many settlers in the area were soldiers, who were implicated in clearing the land and especially difficult to curb.

After the report was published, British airline Virgin Atlantic, which had purchased credits from the project to offset its flights, asked Natural Capital Partners – the facilitator of the credit purchase – to investigate the claims. The broker company dismissed the claims as outdated, saying they were taken from other publications in 2014 and 2016.

Fern's Christian, however, defended the report yesterday, saying that a two-year interval was simply not enough for the widespread deforestation to become a nonissue.

“The main thrust of our report/case study is that extensive deforestation has happened in [the] forest the project said it was going to save,” Christian wrote in an email. “This means the carbon credits the project has sold to other parties (including Virgin Airlines) are bogus – they are based on emissions savings that never happened, because the forest was destroyed not protected.”

She continued that is not possible for “that central fact to be outdated, or for anything to have been done since then to rectify it”.

“If the forest was destroyed, it is still destroyed, and the credits sold for protecting it during that period are [and] will always be bogus,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that