Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal logging report disputed in Kampong Speu

Illegal logging report disputed in Kampong Speu

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An NGO claims it has discovered a resurgence of large-scale logging within areas of the South Cardamom Mountains. Facebook

Illegal logging report disputed in Kampong Speu

Civil society organisation ACNCIPO director Chea Hean said on Thursday that he has discovered a resurgence of large-scale logging within areas of the South Cardamom Mountains in Kampong Speu province’s Oral district, a claim shot down by authorities.

Hean, an environmentalist, said he visited the area last week and noted that about 40 cubic metres of timber were laid in piles near a sawmill that was raided once before by authorities but now seems to be back in operation.

He claimed there were no local authorities looking into the case and that he would seek intervention from the armed forces because the perpetrators are operating without fear of arrest.

The sawn timber, he said, is being transported from the forest to Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district without interruption from police.

“I plan to go down to the area again and ask the armed forces to go there and arrest the owners of the site and all the stakeholders, seizing both items and the owner to send to the court.

“This time, the perpetrators will absolutely not be forgiven. Environmental rangers have ignored this, and instead take bribes from forest criminals,” he said.

Hean said the armed forces should organise a surprise raid in order to catch the forest criminals red-handed rather than announcing imminent crackdowns and giving them time to flee the area, as has happened in the past.

Kampong Speu provincial Department of Environment deputy director Nov Nak said authorities have already cracked down on logging in the area.

“We have already cracked down and prevented the crime. There are no more offences. I have not received any further information from officials stationed there,” he said.

South Cardamom Mountain National Park director Long Si, who is in charge of the area, on Thursday disputed Hean’s claims.

He said there was no large-scale deforestation in the area as mentioned, but admitted cases of wildlife poaching continue to plague it.

Officials, he said, were on regular patrols and authorities had arrested many perpetrators and confiscated numerous items.

He urged the locals to cooperate with forestry and wildlife protection officials because the authorities in the area are shorthanded to respond to the volume of work there.

“I do not know how this civil society group followed and found forest crime because we have already cracked down on it.

“There are no large-scale forest crime cases today. Only cases of wildlife hunting and snaring at night occur,” he said.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in