Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM urges crackdown on illegal timber trade

PM urges crackdown on illegal timber trade

PM urges crackdown on illegal timber trade

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday ordered his subordinates to crack down on illegal logging and issued a warning to companies engaging in nefarious forestry practices to clean up their act.

Speaking at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hun Sen reiterated that illegal logging is a major problem, citing certain companies’ habit of abusing their economic land concessions (ELCs) and felling forests by the truckload.

“[The authorities] need to examine all ELCs. Taking back forest from those who destroy it is not enough,” he said.

“We have to arrest [people] and order them to pay back for their logging.”

He added that timber companies who engage in the illicit timber trade should be prosecuted, instructing government officials to not let them “get away with it”.

Agriculture Minister Ouk Rabun said that his ministry has been working to address the situation, and will “promote the implementation of land and forest management reforms”.

Executive director of the NGO Forum Tek Vannara supported the premier’s warning, saying it was time local officials started clamping down on illegal logging for the sake of the poor.

“Strict law enforcement must ensure that natural resources are [harvested] sustainably and managed better,” he said.

Last year, the ministry revoked ELCs from eight companies that breached their contracts, accounting for more than 170,000 hectares of land. The Ministry of Environment, meanwhile, stripped 23 companies of ELCs, covering 100,000 hectares.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of