Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal land clearing in Banteay Srei stopped

Illegal land clearing in Banteay Srei stopped

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Banteay Srei district authority inspected land grab at Siem Reap Provice. Supplied

Illegal land clearing in Banteay Srei stopped

Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district authorities on Friday stopped and warned of legal action against the unauthorised clearing of forest land led by a machinery owner at the district’s Hal village in Tbeng commune.

District governor Khim Finan told The Post on Sunday that he had gone to the area after receiving reports of a group of individuals clearing the village’s forest and digging a canal to construct a private road in secret to grab state land in the area.

“The activities will affect the ecosystem in the forest and disrupt the flow of water in the old canals. It will also affect the residents living downstream who rely on the canal for their livelihood.

“I have instructed village and commune officials and residents directly to put all these illegal activities to an abrupt halt and ensure that such anarchy will not occur again.

“Otherwise, the officials and residents will be held accountable before the law,” Finan said, adding that grabbing of state land was illegal.

Finan said the cutting down of mangrove trees had led to the drying up of water in the area, which would seriously affect water supply in the Siem Reap River.

“If the activities are not stopped on time, in the future, our Siem Reap River will lose water,” he said.

Finan said what he found most concerning was the illegal land-clearing activities in the conserved forest of Banteay Srei district and the Kulen Mountain located in Phnom Kulen National Park.

These activities, he said, harmed the natural and cultural wealth of Siem Reap.

Adhoc investigator Sous Narin confirmed the illegal land-clearing activities in the areas.

“Because the authorities didn’t solve the problems effectively, they kept entering to clear the forest further. But after being prohibited by the authorities, their activities have discontinued,” he said.

Narin observed that activities related to grabbing of state lands not only occurred in Banteay Srei but in other districts as well.

Finan said the issue of land grabbing in the Kulen Mountain forests had been happening for a long time. Over the last few years, residents had further encroached on state land by building guardian spirit houses.

By November this year, the authorities had demolished 49 of the 1,000 illegal constructions that encroached on the forested area of the Kulen Mountain.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy