Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Jolie-Pitt Foundation uncovers forest crime

Jolie-Pitt Foundation uncovers forest crime

Jolie-Pitt Foundation uncovers forest crime

Forests and wildlife near Pailin province’s O’Tavao Waterfall are being threatened by local deforestation and hunting, officials said yesterday.

According to a Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation (MJP) patrol team and environmental officers, a survey on Friday revealed many huge trees illegally felled, over 100 scattered animal traps and a concealed chainsaw and a five-litre canister of gasoline.

“There are [highly trafficked] areas where timbers have just been logged. But the offenders were not seen; they had gone,” said Chan Socheat, an operational officer of MJP who patrolled the area.

The offenses took place between 500 metres and 1 kilometre from O’Tavao Waterfall, said Socheat, who suspects the offenders to be local residents employed to log timber, including koki and chan tompaing trees.

Socheat said the inconspicuous traps were positioned to snare iguanas, deer, anteaters and other species.

More than 500 families live adjacent to O’Tavao Waterfall, according to Kem Sokha, director of Pailin Environmental Department.

He said it is common for villagers to track forestry patrol teams, and wait for an opportunity to harvest natural resources unobserved.

“The perpetrators are not from the far flung areas. When we are a bit careless, they enter the areas,” he said, adding his team is now attempting to repair the damage.

“Sooner or later, if they continue, we will know and clamp down.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National