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

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the