Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SGS set to monitor forests

SGS set to monitor forests

SGS set to monitor forests

The monitoring and verification firm, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), is reportedly negotiating with the government to become the new forestry monitor. The presence of an independent monitor is a requirement of a $15 million World Bank loan that has been delayed several times already.

The Swiss company pulled out of a similar contract in 1997 due to security concerns after it was asked to monitor illegal cutting and export operations.

SGS sat down with the government and the World Bank to revise the recently drafted Terms of Reference (TOR) for the job, two months after Global Witness (GW) was fired. A World Bank official involved with forestry said the controversial TOR was being reworked by SGS to address "some of the same questions that people have raised concerns about".

The TOR was widely derided for creating a rubber stamp monitor, rather than one that would be seen as independent and credible.

An official at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife cautioned that the search for a new forestry monitor was not yet over, adding that it could take a month before a formal contract was signed. He said the government still wanted to "establish some conditions" with SGS before it finalized the deal.

A spokesman for SGS said he was unaware of the negotiations.

The government apparently attracted few takers for the post, and in its final review, SGS was reportedly one of the few qualified respondents.

"Not too many people are willing to get involved," said GW's Marcus Hardtke. "If [the new monitor] is whitewashing for the government, they face serious reputational risks.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the