Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry issues warning against those responsible for forest fires




Ministry issues warning against those responsible for forest fires

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Forest fires continue to occur every year in Mondulkiri province and throughout the Kingdom. GRK NEWS

Ministry issues warning against those responsible for forest fires

With incidents of costly human-caused forest fires continuing to occur every year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has issued an instruction outlining that those responsible for such blazes face three to 10 years in prison.

Signed by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon, Wednesday’s instruction on preventative measures against forest fires noted that certain activities frequently led to such fires in the dry season.

These included lighting fires as a hunting technique and for clearing land for homes and farming, with blazes often spreading through carelessness.

“Forest fires happen every year, seriously affecting forest resources and wildlife, society and the national economy. Forest fires spread to farmers’ rice fields and their villages, with people sometimes even being killed,” Sakhon said.

To prevent this, the ministry has introduced measures to manage forest and flooded forest land, and protect it from being illegally grabbed after incidences of fire.

All provincial departments and technical units under the supervision of the ministry are to be made aware of the instruction and implement it fully, as are relevant authorities and community networks.

The ministry is to “prevent the use of fire as a means to yield beeswax and honey, the burning of forest and flooded forest to catch wildlife, or for expanding agricultural land”.

However, if fires are necessary, such as for burning resin whole as per tradition or for growing crops, as well as for other legal activities, notice must be given to the provincial Department of Agriculture so instruction can be given on technical measures to ensure safety.

In the event of a forest fire, action must be taken immediately to prevent it from spreading and extinguish it. The strictest legal action must be taken against those causing forest fires.

“Any person causing a forest or flooded forest fire intentionally shall be punished with between three and 10 years in prison,” Sakhon said.

Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak told The Post on Thursday that the headquarters of the Or Buonloeu protected community in the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary had been destroyed by fire the previous night.

“We consider the burning down of the Or Buonloeu protected community headquarters by unidentified persons to be illegal and the most immoral of acts,” Sopheak said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that