Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri gov’t to ban land sale in protected areas

Ratanakkiri gov’t to ban land sale in protected areas

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Logs are smuggled into Vietnam via a clandestine crossing in O’Tabok, in the Virachey National Park, in February 2017. EUA

Ratanakkiri gov’t to ban land sale in protected areas

While the Ratanakkiri provincial administration will not recognise illegal land transactions in the province’s protected areas, an NGO says its action is not effective and forest crimes continue unabated.

The administration’s letter dated October 19 and obtained by The Post on Monday came after Minister of Interior Sar Kheng strongly criticised forestry laws and lashed out on senior officers for allowing illegal timber trafficking under the pretense of clearing the bottom of the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam.

The administration warned that all land transfer documents pertaining to the protected natural area will become null and void in accordance with the law.

The letter also warned that authorities will take action against perpetrators who illegally clear forest land to build houses, stalls or warehouses, or take land as personal property in protected areas such as Virachey National Park, Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, O’Yadav National Park, Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area and Yeak Laom Lake Protected Area.

“All land clearing to build houses or warehouses, or to take ownership is illegal in protected natural areas and will be punished according to the law,” the letter said.

Forest, Wildlife and Natural Resources Protection Organisation director Touch Nora said he welcomed the Ratanakkiri provincial administration’s plan to nullify all sales-and-purchase letters.

‘Collusion’

However, he claimed, the action will not be effective.

“We see that forest crimes are not going down. Illegal forest clearing continues to go up in certain provinces such as Mondulkiri."

“Actions by the authorities are not effective because officers at the lower level collude with traders and powerful individuals,” Nora said.

If the announcement was effective, it would help protect, maintain and preserve natural resources such as wildlife sanctuaries, prevent global warming and benefit the local people.

Ministry of Interior secretary of state Sork Setha ordered the Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Stung Treng provincial authorities in late August to take timely, effective action against illegal timber trafficking.

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