News / Asia

Cambodian Villagers Express Helplessness to Protect Forest

Cambodian Villagers Express Helplessness to Protect Prey Lang Foresti
X
June 03, 2014 2:06 AM
Villagers in Cambodia's Prey Lang forest say illegal logging has been on the rise in their area, but they are powerless to prevent the deforestation that threatens their way of life. VOA's Say Mony visited the remote region and has this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Say Mony
— Prey Lang is one of Cambodia’s few remaining large forests, covering approximately 3,600 square kilometers across four northern provinces.
 
The forest is home to about 200,000 mostly indigenous people, who depend on it for their livelihoods, according to the Prey Lang Community Network. But, the advocacy group and other locals say, illegal logging threatens their traditional ways of life.
 
In Kratie province one recent day, Hean Chhit and his grandchild were preparing to collect resin, used for making torches and mending boats, from their trees.
 
The 62-year-old farmer used to own a few hundreds of trees, he said. But logging companies came into the area, and now only a few dozen trees remain.
 
“I've been living here [for over 30 years], depending on that plot of rice field and these trees, vines and rattans,” he said. “But since the loggers came to destroy this Prey Lang, what can we rely on for our living?"
 
His wife, Prak Rith, said the family and community rely on the forest to sustain them.
 
“We depend on the resins so that we can buy other necessary commodities and other groceries for our daily life," she said.
 
Heading deep into the forest, this VOA reporter saw several big machines, including excavators and bulldozers.  A group of men guarding them claimed the machines were for paving roads to surrounding villages. But locals say they are used to clear the forest instead.
 
Despite patrols by people living and working in the forest, illegal logging has increased, said Kim Sokhorn, a network representative.
 
The forest has been threatened ever since the government implemented a land concession policy, Sokhorn said.   
 
Government authorities, such as forestry administration officials, “are on the state's payrolls to do the job of preventing and cracking down on illegal logging in the Prey Lang area,” Sokhorn said.
 
Instead, they’ve served corporate interests, Sokhorn charged.
 
Authorities deny the accusation, saying the government's forest and land concession policy is aimed at boosting the national economy and providing jobs to the local community.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Vanny from: Phnom Penh
June 22, 2014 4:31 AM
This issue happens noticeably in Camobodia due to least law enforcements and involvements from government officials. this problem can virtually stop unless government takes tough measures not just saying but acting

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid