Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Piles of cut logs rotting on border

Piles of cut logs rotting on border

Piles of cut logs rotting on border

K RATIE - About 800,000 cubic meters of cut logs are sitting rotting in Kratie province along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, according to provincial governor Nou Phoeung.

The timber - most of which was owned by the police, military or illegal private loggers - had been mounting up since 1992 in Snoul district.

Vietnamese officials' refusal to allow the logs to be exported there - a policy in force since UNTAC banned logging exports during the elections - was causing the stockpiles.

The governor said the Cambodian government had since approved the exporting of the timber, but the Vietnamese had still not opened the border.

Some of the timber had been smuggled into Vietnam, while other, legally-cut logs were being exported to Singapore and Malaysia.

Po Sarith, a Snoul district official, said logging was still continuing at a face pace.

An NGO worker in Kratie, who would not be named, said the province's forests were in danger of being wiped out by such large-scale logging.

He said local military officers allowed illegal logging to continue. "They have the weapons; they give the permission."

Phoeung denied that his officers would give official permission for the cutting and transporting of logs, saying only the Ministry of Agriculture could do that.

But it was hard to stop people who were determined to carry out logging.

"Not only the military, even the farmers can log even though they have no permission."

He said some of the logging was done in Khmer Rouge areas, and truckers who transported the timber paid the rebels in food, medicines or even guns.

"This is very dangerous for our government."

Phoeung said about 60 percent of the logging of Kratie forests was done by three foreign companies, while 52 local firms cut an estimated 50,000 cubic meters each year.

Government sources said that twenty to 30 per cent of timber exports from the area were illegal.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished