Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal charcoal export still going on: activists

Illegal charcoal export still going on: activists

Illegal charcoal export still going on: activists

Residents and conservationists in western Cambodia have denounced the renewed exportation of charcoal to Thailand, an illegal practice allegedly reliant on corruption that places the future of protected forests in peril.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a conservationist said border officials in Battambang province accepted bribes to let massive loads pass into Thailand.

“They pay money to the authorities at checkpoint 400. If they do not pay, they will not be able to go through,” the conservationist said.

The revelation comes two months after the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stepped in to halt illegal charcoal exports from the region, following reports that up to 80 tonnes were entering Thailand each month.

Charcoal exportation is banned under sub-decree 131, but up until March, it continued openly. Exportation has now reportedly resumed under cover of night.

According to local residents, the charcoal is produced from timber illegally harvested from the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary and forests around Battambang’s Samlot district.

One conservationist said that it occurs with the complicity of Samlot District Governor In Saorith.

However, Saorith rejected the allegations, saying “I bet my life” on illegal exports no longer taking place, instead claiming the charcoal was destined for neighbouring Pailin province.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation