Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers block firm from clearing forest

Villagers block firm from clearing forest

Villagers block firm from clearing forest

About 150 villagers in Romeas Hek district’s Krasaing commune in Svay Rieng province blocked bulldozers belonging to a private company that was attempting to clear a community forest yesterday, villagers said.

Mittapheap Company was awarded a 1,230-hectare economic land concession to plant rubber trees in the forest by the provincial governor this year, which residents say will affect about 2,785 people from 543 families.

Neb Thoeun, a representative of the Krasaing commune Community Forest group, said that clearing the land would affect wildlife and deplete the supply of wood.

“We protect that land because it belongs to all of us, [it is] not for the benefit of one individual,” he said.

Community forest schemes allow villagers to live in protected areas while ensuring its flora and fauna are sustainably managed, but they can be overturned if an overlapping land concession is granted.

Deputy district governor Leb Sarorn said that villagers had no right to protest against a government land concession without approval from authorities.

“They destroyed the forest in that community when they took possession of it, so the provincial governor gave the right to the company to develop it,” Leb Sarorn said, adding that villagers could apply for a social land concession.

Prak Saran, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that villagers had filed complaints to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the National Assembly this month but had yet to receive a response.
Representatives from Mittapheap could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’