Reports of large-scale illegal logging at dam

By: Phak Seangly

Dozens of ethnic Phnong families from Stung Treng province’s Sesan district filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc on Friday over the alleged illegal logging of their community forest.

Community representative Kim Doeurng said yesterday that a “timber handicrafts” business operating in the area had resulted in the destruction of 55 hectares of their forest in Kbal Romeas commune since 2013.

“We demand that the timber handcrafts [operation] shuts down because they have been doing such activities for two years,” he said, adding that villagers had also been subject to threats of violence.

Doeurng said 32 people representing 57 families lodged the complaint.

Adhoc coordinator Ho Sam Ol said that without action from the authorities the “forest will be annihilated”.

But commune chief Voeurn Sambath denied that the “family-scale” business was affecting the villagers.

SOURCE: THE PHNOM PENH POST