Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Koh Kong revokes land rights on clearing fears



Koh Kong revokes land rights on clearing fears

Koh Kong revokes land rights on clearing fears

Koh Kong provincial hall on Tuesday revoked ownership of land near the protected Peam Krasoap Wildlife Sanctuary to prevent further land clearing in the area.

Its announcement raised fears among local communities of a potential forced eviction.

“All illegal land ownership or unregistered land at the Peam Krasoap Wildlife Sanctuary must be returned to Koh Kong authority for annulment.

“Ownership of land that is not registered or has been grabbed and any constructions at the wildlife sanctuary are illegal and subject to legal actions,” it said in a statement dated August 20.

The Peam Krasoap community, which includes villages I and II, in Mondul Seima district, around seven kilometres from the provincial hall, is home to beautiful beaches, mangrove forest, dolphins and various bird species, among others.

Peam Krasoap commune chief Neang Kun said she had not received any formal notice from the higher-ups.

Kun said the annulment of land ownership and a potential eviction without proper compensation will have a major impact on the livelihood of more than 300 families that have been living in the area since 2004.

The villagers, whose land ownership was granted by local authorities, rely on fishing and do not have enough land for cultivating agricultural crops.

“Their livelihood depends on nature. They have no agricultural land. Each family was given a plot of land measuring 650 square metres to build homes.

“If they are evicted from the area, I don’t know where they can go because they have been living in the area for more than 10 years,” Kun said.

Peam Krasoap community representative Siek Sabun expressed deep concerns.

“I hope the authority will find a solution to avoid forced eviction. And if we are evicted, I hope they will provide proper compensation,” he said.

Koh Kong governor Phouthong Mithona and provincial hall spokesperson Sok Sothy could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Mondul Seima district governor Hak Leng said he was unsure of the community’s fate. “We will wait and see before making an assessment,” he said.

Provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc Mean Prom Mony said the authorities should provide proper compensation in case of an eviction, and that a land swap with the community would also be a good compromise.
He said failure to do so could result in a prolonged land dispute.

The sanctuary was designated a protected area by royal decree in 1993.

It serves to help prevent natural disasters and provides for the local community’s livelihood.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants