Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wetlands threatened by coastal land grabs



Wetlands threatened by coastal land grabs

Authorities inspect a construction site in Preah Sihanouk earlier this year after a construction project destroyed hectares of mangrove forest along the province’s coast. Photo supplied
Authorities inspect a construction site in Preah Sihanouk earlier this year after a construction project destroyed hectares of mangrove forest along the province’s coast. Photo supplied

Wetlands threatened by coastal land grabs

The Council of Ministers has urged the Ministry of Land Management to crack down on coastal land grabbing in response to a report that found the practice was destroying the Kingdom’s wetlands.

The Post yesterday obtained a letter signed by Council of Ministers undersecretary Sou Phirin and sent on June 16 in response to a report produced by the Ministry of Agriculture 10 days earlier and signed off by the prime minister on June 13.

The report found that the Kingdom’s coastal mangrove swamps were being filled in and titles were being illicitly issued for the newly formed land in Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot and Kong Kong provinces.

“Our ministry asked for intervention over the anarchic grabbing of mangroves happening in the coastal provinces,” Agriculture Ministry spokesman Lor Raksmey said yesterday.

In the June 16 letter, Phirin “recommended” that Land Management Minister Chea Sophara annul and withdraw land titles issued by the Ministry of Land Management and local officials for former mangrove swamps in the four provinces.

A senior Ministry of Land Management official, who asked for anonymity while the ministry formulates its official response, said they had inspected the listed sites and that land titles would be revoked, but did not specify how many.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

Buon Narith, Preah Sihanouk provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, yesterday said that in past two years, at least 100 hectares of mangrove had been filled in during land grabs in Prey Nop district and Sihanoukville alone.

Provincial Governor Yon Min said local authorities had already cracked down on many developments in former mangrove areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and