Cambodia: Gov’s new program designed to prevent development projects from harming forests

Forestry Administration of Cambodia hopes to implement by September a
program designed to prevent development projects from decimating
Cambodia’s forests, national media reported Thursday. The program
would prioritize the use of law enforcement to crack down on illegal
loggers, the identification and demarcation of forest areas, increased
community participation in forest conservation, and investment in
research projects related to the country’s forests, Ty Sokhun,
director of the administration, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as

Currently, the administration has completed 30 percent of a
draft document detailing the program, Ty Sokhun said, adding that they
hope to hold forums for public discussion of the program in May and to
implement it in September. “We strongly believe that this program will
not only make forests in Cambodia more abundant but also improve the
lives of people living in rural communities and reduce poverty
throughout the country,” he said. Meanwhile, Keng Pou, a member of the
Phnong minority group living in Ratanakkiri province, called for the
government to assist local efforts to encourage forest preservation.
“We need the government to encourage us, and support and protect us
when we are fighting against illegal loggers,” he told the Post. He
said some members of his village have sustained serious injuries while
fighting off illegal loggers.

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