Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sanctuary ‘cleared’ in Kampong Speu




Sanctuary ‘cleared’ in Kampong Speu

Sanctuary ‘cleared’ in Kampong Speu

Officials in Kampong Speu province have accused a man of illegally clearing dozens of hectares of land in the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary to grow sugarcane.

Muong Phy, governor of Oral district, said local land broker Thorng Sokheng bought 100 hectares of land from villagers living on the fringes of the sanctuary, but he later began overstepping the lines of his purchase, illegally clearing land within the sanctuary over the past two years to make way for a planned sugarcane plantation.

“Now we hear that Thorng Sokheng is trying to contact officials [in the Ministry of Environment] to rent out the state land that has already been cleared … but no replies have been received,” Phy said.

Phy added that today, a working group composed of Ministry of Environment officials and local authorities would inspect the site to prepare for an eventual lawsuit. Sokheng could not be reached yesterday.

Yorng Phearum, deputy director of the Oral sanctuary, said the illegal clearing had been stopped by authorities, but not before 54 hectares were cut.

“We do not allow sugarcane plantations or other crops or buildings on the land because it is a wildlife sanctuary managed by the state,” Phearum said.

Since May 2010, the government has instituted a freeze on parcelling out state land to private companies, so attempting to rent out state land, especially in a protected area, is illegal, said Srun Darith, an Environment Ministry cabinet chief.

Darith said that because the land was cleared but not “occupied” yet, punishment would likely come in the form of a fine.

“For clearing sanctuary land, it is necessary to get the perpetrator punished in accordance with the law,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last