Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Logging rampant despite pandemic’




‘Logging rampant despite pandemic’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Forest activists claimed they had observed more cases of deforestation in the Prey Lang area than before the Covid-19 outbreak. Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN)

‘Logging rampant despite pandemic’

Forest activists claimed they had observed more cases of deforestation in the Prey Lang area than before the Covid-19 outbreak.

They alleged that three companies had sent workers to log and transport timber with no crackdown by the relevant authorities.

Heng Sros, an activist in Stung Treng province, told The Post on Monday that the three firms – Think Biotech (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Angkor Plywood, and Thy Nga Co, Ltd Development – had sent workers to log and haul timber to a factory near the area before transporting the sawn wood to a major company.

“Those who transport timber from the Prey Lang forest are not afraid of virus infection. I’ve seen between 10 and 20 vans hauling timber to Angkor Plywood per day.

“We already know that this company has obtained the rights to export timber from Cambodia for sales abroad. Up to 70 cubic metres of timber are transported per van.

“I think [environment] officials have been bribed because they stopped activists and residents from entering the area. People are concerned about deforestation in the area.

“The officials don’t try to stop the forestry crime but instead protect the companies and let them log timber,” he alleged.

Sros said he had received the information on deforestation from the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) in four provinces and from company workers.

The locations in Prey Lang where logging is most rampant, he said, are in Kratie province’s Sambor district and the O’ Lang Points area spanning Stung Treng and Preah Vihear provinces.

Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary was established in May 2016 and covers 431,683ha across Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Thom, and Preah Vihear provinces.

Khut Soeurm, a PLCN member in Preah Vihear province, said deforestation in the area is also continuing unabated, especially in Rovieng district’s Reabroy commune near an investment area occupied by Thy Nga Co Ltd Development.

He attributed the increase in logging to the Covid-19 outbreak, which has forced activists to stay home.

“The Ministry of Environment doesn’t allow us to patrol the forest, so we can’t. But those who still do have told me a lot of timber had been logged,” he said.

On Monday, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra declined to respond to the allegations.

However, he said they are merely political activists in disguise claiming to protect the environment and natural resources.

Pheaktra said forest rangers stationed in the areas are strictly implementing the law on Protected Natural Areas in collaboration with community members to tackle logging.

Last year, 1,200 rangers who were stationed in protected natural areas clamped down on 4,746 cases of forestry crimes, 487 of which were referred to court. They also seized 2,531 chainsaws.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European