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

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports