World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:08 am

The logging news just gets better and better : it has been announced that China and Vietnam are helping Cambodia to fight against illegal logging.
Gov’t: China, Vietnam Helping in Timber Fight
Speaking at a forum on the contributions journalism has made to the promotion and protection of environmentalism in Cambodia and the Mekong delta yesterday, Mr. Samal said the first stage of their efforts to stop deforestation in the Kingdom – which involved creating a special government commission to stop the illegal timber trade – had been done in conjunction with Vietnam and China, who he says are each working on stopping the trade from their end.

“The forest crime crackdown strategy is to close the border gates, and at the same time, Vietnam has publicly announced that they will not allow logging in the central region and timber factories will be closed. And China is also trying to reform so their influence is decreasing the market,” he said.
AND, even better news still, (you could not even dream of making this up), a government spokesman has announced that certain concessions have no more trees left, so the illegal logging problem is over in those areas.
Mr. Samal defended the government’s efforts yesterday, telling the crowd that illegal logging in the Oral Mountains had in fact ended, but only because there were no more trees left on economic land concessions for companies to clear.
Quotes from: http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/30518/ ... ber-fight/
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:41 pm

Cambodia's timber exports to Vietnam continue despite ban
Mon, 21 November 2016
Jack Davies

Despite the establishment of a dedicated anti-logging taskforce and the implementation of a ban on the export of logs, Cambodia exported $121 million of wood to Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, according to Vietnamese customs data shared with the Post by NGO Forest Trends.

Observers say the data give lie to the government’s oft-repeated claims this year that large-scale logging and exports to Vietnam have been ended in Cambodia.

“Well-connected timber tycoons [are] running sawmills and sourcing indiscriminately,” conservationist Marcus Hardtke said in an email yesterday. “It is organized and systemic, undermining forest management efforts. This cannot be pushed under the carpet as ‘small-scale’.”


Contacted yesterday even-ing, Environment Ministry spokesman Eang Sophalleth said that while he could not comment directly on the Vietnamese customs data without having the opportunity to verify it, the government’s official position is that all large-scale logging in Cambodia has finished...

Full article: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/c ... espite-ban
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby Luigi » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:51 pm

i.e. That's our story and we are sticking to it.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:48 am

A StungTreng man who has reported illegal logging and land-clearing has been threatened with a defamation suit and worse. There is officially no more illegal logging and the authorities are clamping down hard on anyone who says otherwise:


Man faces defamation suit amid land-clearing claims

Fri, 13 January 2017
Phak Seangly

An activist in Stung Treng province has been hauled before commune authorities, threatened with a defamation suit and allegedly warned he could be beaten to death for exposing land clearing in his native Thala Borivat district.

Uk Mao, 53, said he was interrogated for an hour on Sunday after leading local reporters on several occasions to an area of state and community forest in Sam Ang commune he says has been cleared for about four years by migrant farmers, with some of the land also sold off for between $150 and $200 per hectare.

“They said that I defamed them over the forest logging,” Mao, an ethnic Kuoy villager, said yesterday. “They said that I reported untrue information. I responded: ‘Why is it untrue? You must have never been to the forest then.’ I spoke the truth.”

Mao said news reports of the clearing had enraged local commune officials, particularly commune chief Nhien Phon, whose aggressive response led the activist to believe local authorities may be complicit in the forest’s destruction...

Thala Borivat District Governor Thong Srun dismissed the activist’s claims, which he said were “completely untrue” and amounted to defamation of public officials.

Under the Kingdom’s Criminal Code, citizens can defame both an individual and institution by “any allegation or charge made in bad faith” that injures a party’s honour or reputation. The maximum fine is about $2,500. A one- to six-day prison sentence is also prescribed for anyone convicted of insulting a public official.

“I have inspected [the site] myself, and there is no crime,” Srun said, before suggesting Mao could escape legal action if he shut up. “We will call for him once or twice, and if he does not listen, we will implement our procedures.”

Speaking yesterday, a journalist shown the site by Mao confirmed his account...
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/m ... ing-claims
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:17 pm

Good summary on the illegal logging situation from the CD:
A Year On, Logging Force Proving Skeptics Right
A year ago on Sunday, Prime Minister HE announced the start of what sounded like a muscular new crackdown on the illegal timber trade running rampant across eastern Cambodia...

But locals, community groups and NGOs at work in those provinces say the task force has been more show than substance, bearing out early fears that the latest crackdown would go the way of past efforts, making few long-term gains. Some said the campaign had made considerable gains against the illegal timber trade. But most said the trade had slowed only marginally, that it was back to pre-task force levels, or had even picked up.

“The illegal logging has increased in the border provinces,” said Pen Bonnar, senior investigator for land rights and natural resources for rights group Adhoc.
Mr. Bonnar, drawing on reports from Adhoc staff spread out across the provinces, said the government sweeps had merely forced the trade to change shape, driving it under the radar—if only just. Where large trucks once ferried ill-gotten timber in the open, the contraband is now more likely to get divvied up among fleets of vans, cars and motorbikes...

The government often claims not to exercise such control over court cases involving its cronies or critics. But the slow progress the courts are making in these cases is feeding suspicion that the crackdown, as one conservationist put it, is more of a shakedown—meant to rake in more bribes and taxes while rearranging the main players.
Full article: https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/a-ye ... ht-123485/
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:48 am

The environment minister has given yet another rousing speech assuring the world that illegal logging operations in Cambodia are over.
The good news was already announced in June 2016, but it needs to be repeated often for those who have doubts. More and more press conferences on the subject attempt make the authorities' message more believable : there is no more illegal logging in Cambodia.

To deny this is defamatory. The minister has spoken. Repeatedly. There is no more illegal logging in Cambodia.

Logging claims invite scepticism
Fri, 20 January 2017
Touch Sokha

Environment Minister Say Samal yesterday maintained that illegal logging operations in Cambodia were now limited to individuals felling a few trees at a time and that recent timber seizures were of logs felled long ago, claims met with scepticism by conservation observers.

The minister, who met with journalists yesterday, said that while logging cases were on the decline across the country, especially the northeast, local residents were still cutting a few trees as a means of income because they did not have jobs, though he was unable to provide any statistics to support the claim. Additionally, he said recent timber busts did not involve wood that had been cut down recently.

“You might see in the news that police or military police have cracked down [on an amount of] cubic metres of timber,” he said. “That timber was cut months ago and was just caught.”

He also dismissed claims that provincial officials were in cahoots with illegal loggers and said that if there were any such cases, action would be taken...http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/l ... scepticism
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:51 am

Interview with the Minister of the Environment.
As Cambodia’s Minister of the Environment, Australian-educated Say Samal is often in the firing line over issues such as illegal logging, land concessions, wildlife trafficking, illegal mining and much more. This week the 36-year-old minister told Khmer Times’ Alan Parkhouse about some of the challenges he faces and how he’s slowly changing people’s attitudes to the environment.

KT: What are the biggest issues you’ve faced since you became Environment Minister in 2013?

Mr. Samal: In two categories. Firstly, it’s waste management and the sewage problem here – we also have to deal with that across the country. The second category is the land disputes and illegal logging with ELCs [economic land concessions]. But I’m pleased to say that in just two and a half years we’ve been able to solve most of the problems, although there are still some remaining issues that we need to finish off. By and large we’re very satisfied with the reforms we’ve carried out.

KT: The illegal timber trade appears to be still going strong despite government efforts to stop it. What plans do you have to put an end to this trade?

Mr. Samal: Look, I don’t agree that it is still going strong. You see, in order to stop this illegal logging a number of steps were taken. We’re not denying that this is an issue. But also people started to politicize that. That’s the problem – the real problem in our society. In 2012, the government issued executive order 001 about these land disputes, so in this term we conducted a review and evaluation of all ELCs...
http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/34550//
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:17 am

Military cops bust Pursat sawmills
Fri, 20 January 2017
Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Authorities seized 157 logs and 500 pieces of valuable thnong timber, three band saws and other timber-processing tools at three illegal sawmills in Pursat province’s Kravanh district, military police said yesterday.

“Authorities are currently investigating the identities of the compounds’ owners in order to bring them in for interrogation and prepare the case for the court,” Hy said.

A military police official involved in the operation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the police needed more evidence and witnesses before revealing information about the suspects...
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/m ... t-sawmills
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:14 pm

CEOCambodiaNews wrote:Interview with the Minister of the Environment.
As Cambodia’s Minister of the Environment, Australian-educated Say Samal is often in the firing line over issues such as illegal logging, land concessions, wildlife trafficking, illegal mining and much more. This week the 36-year-old minister told Khmer Times’ Alan Parkhouse about some of the challenges he faces and how he’s slowly changing people’s attitudes to the environment.

KT: What are the biggest issues you’ve faced since you became Environment Minister in 2013?

Mr. Samal: In two categories. Firstly, it’s waste management and the sewage problem here – we also have to deal with that across the country. The second category is the land disputes and illegal logging with ELCs [economic land concessions]. But I’m pleased to say that in just two and a half years we’ve been able to solve most of the problems, although there are still some remaining issues that we need to finish off. By and large we’re very satisfied with the reforms we’ve carried out.

KT: The illegal timber trade appears to be still going strong despite government efforts to stop it. What plans do you have to put an end to this trade?

Mr. Samal: Look, I don’t agree that it is still going strong. You see, in order to stop this illegal logging a number of steps were taken. We’re not denying that this is an issue. But also people started to politicize that. That’s the problem – the real problem in our society. In 2012, the government issued executive order 001 about these land disputes, so in this term we conducted a review and evaluation of all ELCs...
http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/34550//
Actually an interesting article and the Minister sounds smart enough. However, you can tell he's extremely disconnected from reality. I could show him several areas which still have what I would consider large-scale illegal logging. And the idea that the small-scale logging can't be devastating is delusional at best. Again, I could provide him with many GPS coordinates where such "small scale illegal logging"has truly devastated forests and wildlife. He's also a bit naive to think they only fit one log on a motorbike or something. These guys go in and out of the jungle every single day with the small tractors (koh-youn), taking in huge logs each on the way back. Multiply that by XX guys in one region, 360+ days per year and five years later, you've got very little left. Again, I've got tons of pictures and GPS coordinates to supply if he'd like to see the light. And no, I don't work for an NGO, but I'm out and about in the countryside riding around all the time. You can tell that he spends his days sitting in a Phnom Penh office, away from it all, totally disconnected from the realities on the ground. Typical of bureaucracies and management though.

He also shows a typical lack of foresight when it comes to the environment. When talking about the Mekong and damming it, his response is basically that electricity and jobs are more important totally neglecting the larger impact it would likely have on fisheries, the livelihoods of people and basically, the diet and health of all Cambodians. Chasing the quick buck while neglecting the long-term vision and impact which these decisions will have on future Cambodian generations. Always focused on "development" and jobs, but forgetting that there's a reason many western countries are pushing the environmental agenda: we messed up many of our countries, often in irreparable ways. Trying to get developing countries to learn from our own mistakes and follow a different path is not only the responsible thing to do, but it would be criminally negligent not to do so. Either way, he's certainly dealing with a lot of issues and it's certain that many will slip under the radar. It's certainly no easy job.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Postby Luigi » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:21 am

Perhaps the Cambodia Daily or the PPP would like to see the photos. Anonymously of course.
Although such action could be hazardous.

What are you going to believe, the officials story line or your lying eyes & photos?:popcorn:

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