Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials hail success of logging crackdown

Officials hail success of logging crackdown

Officials hail success of logging crackdown

THE enforcement of forestry laws improved in the early part of 2010, according to officials at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Administration, following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent warning that military officers should not engage in timber trafficking.

Tim Sipha, director of the Department of Legislation and Enforcement at the Forestry Administration, said that officials have recorded 231 cases of illegal logging and confiscated 510 cubic metres of timber so far this year. In the whole of 2009, the administration recorded 675 instances of illegal logging and seized 2,622 cubic metres of illicit timber.

Tim Sipha said that following a serious warning from the prime minister late last month and a concerted crackdown by local officials, he observed that illegal logging seemed to decrease. “We noticed that military officers who had been involved in illegal logging began to cease their actions, and illegal logging also began to decrease,” he said.

“We will continue to carry out the prime minister’s order and to strengthen law enforcement in order to reduce illegal logging.”

At an annual meeting of military officials on January 28, Hun Sen warned his audience that officers should stop cutting down trees and backing illegal loggers and land grabbers.

“Stop immediately all involvement with illegal businesses and do not back illegal businessmen. I will show no mercy,” he said. “I have a five-star rank, but I will even fire somebody with the rank of a moon or a sun.”

Pen Bonna, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said deforestation in the province seemed to be on the decrease, but that thousands of cubic metres of timber left over from previous illegal logging operations were being prepared for export to Vietnam despite the recent local crackdowns.

Chan Soveth, an Adhoc investigator, called on the authorities to impose “severe punishments” on those caught profiting illegally from Cambodia’s forests. “The deforestation committed by powerful and rich people will lead to the complete loss of Cambodia’s forest,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on