Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap orders tough, immediate crackdown on illegal timber sites

Siem Reap orders tough, immediate crackdown on illegal timber sites

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ngan Phirun holds a meeting of the technical coordination committee of the Siem Reap provincial council on December 23. SIEM REAP PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Siem Reap orders tough, immediate crackdown on illegal timber sites

Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ngan Phirun has instructed authorities to immediately put a stop to all activities at more than 140 illegal logging sites in or near protected areas and biodiversity corridors in the province to prevent further deforestation.

Phirun announced the operation at a meeting of the technical coordination committee of the Siem Reap provincial council on December 23 without specifying which protected areas or corridors the illegal logging or timber processing was taking place at.

According to a press release issued by the Siem Reap provincial hall on December 23, the deputy governor instructed the relevant authorities to implement the provincial administration’s letter dated December 8 ordering authorities to raid the locations of factories and handicrafts workshops using illegal timber and any warehouses containing it that are located in or near the protected areas.

“According to the data, the processing sites in or near the protected areas and biodiversity corridors in Siem Reap province were to be found in 146 different locations as of September, and only three of those are possibly legal. Shut them all down immediately,” he said.

Phirun told the authorities to annul all official signatures or certifications of title transfer, land use applications, state land purchase agreements and confirmation of title deeds for land in the protected areas and in the biodiversity corridors identified by the Ministry of Environment.

The deputy governor warned that any commune administration officials that continued to violate the law by providing signatures confirming anyone’s private ownership of land in protected areas or biodiversity corridors in their jurisdictions will face criminal prosecution for it and those seeking such signatures shouldn’t bother trying because they are all considered null and void without exception.

Also, Phirun said that charcoal production in the wildlife sanctuary area in Chi Kraeng district was presenting problems because it wasn’t just for community needs but actually a part of an export business to Kampong Thom province, so it needed to be shut down, but those responsible should be warned and educated first before taking any legal action.

Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith said on December 26 that he had not yet been notified or informed about any progress by the authorities in cracking down on these wood processing sites – referring all questions to the Siem Reap provincial administration director Sok Thol – who also stated that he didn’t have any further information at this time when contacted by The Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio