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Laws for protection of nature to be merged

An activist inspects an alleged illegal logging site in Kampong Thom province’s Prey Lang forest during a patrol in 2014.
An activist inspects an alleged illegal logging site in Kampong Thom province’s Prey Lang forest during a patrol in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Laws for protection of nature to be merged

The Kingdom’s disparate laws on protecting forests, fisheries, wildlife, natural resources and the environment in general will be merged into a single document early next year, according to the Environment Ministry.

The current jumble of laws across different ministries created redundancies and contradictions, ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said yesterday.

The new “environmental code” would make enforcement much more efficient, Sopheap said.

“All of the ministries will use the one code,” he said.

Part of the new code would try to balance the need to protect wildlife against some indigenous communities’ need to eat wild animals, especially wild pigs.

Sopheap said the ministry envisioned special wildlife conservation areas that communities could pledge to protect in exchange for permission to hunt some animals.

Wildlife Conservation Society country director Ross Sinclair said such areas were “not unusual”.

For such plans to work, they should have an area where no hunting was allowed, so the animals had a safe zone in which to breed, he said.

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