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New protected forest areas revealed

A Prey Lang forest community activist inspects a section of Prey Lang forest after it was cleared in 2014.
A Prey Lang forest community activist inspects a section of Prey Lang forest after it was cleared in 2014. Heng Chivoan

New protected forest areas revealed

Environment Minister Say Sam Al yesterday revealed the five areas to be included within 900,000 hectares of new protected forest announced last month.

At a workshop yesterday, Sam Al said they would include parts of Prey Lang, Krovanh Khang Tbong, Preah Rokar, Siem Pang Khang Lech and Vern Sai forests with further areas including land along the Mekong River, Tonle Sap lake and coastline to be considered.

He said the ministry planned “to help people to sustainably connect their daily life with the forest”.

Prey Lang Community Network members expressed support for the measure but were disappointed the Prey Lang protected area would not cover parts of the forest in Preah Vihear.

“What is the reason of cutting off Prey Lang forest in Preah Vihear province, and who benefits from that?” asked Phork Hong, a Preah Vihear community representative.

Ministry of Environment director of nature protection Chay Samit yesterday said Preah Vihear was not included because the ministry did not have data for the province yet, but would consider adding the area later.

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