Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

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Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:55 pm

Masked Farmers Raid, Burn Down Community Forestry Office in Mondolkiri Province
March 17, 2017

Dozens of masked farmers stormed a community forestry monitoring office in Mondolkiri province and burned it to the ground in what officials on Friday said they suspected was retaliation for being prevented from growing cassava in a protected area.

Around 60 people, most with scarves covering their faces, confronted a park ranger outside an office overseeing the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, before setting the building alight on Thursday, said Kong Sotheara, the sanctuary’s project manager.

The group, which included women, was angry after they had been stopped by local authorities from farming in the protected area in Keo Seima district’s Sre Preah commune, he said on Friday.

“Some of them demanded that they were allowed to clear forestland to grow cassava while others burned [the building] down,” he said.

Once the building was ablaze, the group scattered and made their getaway on motorbikes, he said. No one was injured in the fire.

Commune chief Pyeu Pe said the building, a wooden structure with a corrugated-tin roof, was erected in 2015 with the intention to curb the clearing of the forest.

“As far as I know, about 40 men on 25 motorbikes arrived and began burning it down,” Mr. Pe said, adding that he did not know the identity of the suspected arsonists. It was not immediately clear why there was a discrepancy in the number of people involved in the incident.

However, he said families from Kompong Cham, Kratie and Prey Veng provinces had began moving to the area in 2013 and had been attempting to illegally clear forest for farming.

The roughly 300 new families were making the task of preventing deforestation increasingly difficult for the Bunong ethnic minority group who have lived on the land for generations, said Mr. Pe, himself a Bunong.

“Our Bunong rely on the forest and when the forest is gone, it is quite hard for us to live on,” he said.

Commune police chief Pen Bunroeun said he was investigating the case, but was as yet unsure who was responsible.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby hanno » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:48 pm

"Have been moving"?

Many of the people were moved into protected areas by the government after the same government kicked them off their land. This attack on protected areas is, if not supported, at least ignored by the competent authorities.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Anchor Moy » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:10 pm

hanno wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:48 pm
"Have been moving"?

Many of the people were moved into protected areas by the government after the same government kicked them off their land. This attack on protected areas is, if not supported, at least ignored by the competent authorities.
You mean that cassava farmers were moved by the government into protected wildlife areas where clashes would be inevitable ?
Try cassava farming in a protected forest. Moving populations like this is bound to trigger violence between new arrivals and natives. If you were cynical, you could almost believe that the government are using desperate subsistence farmers to take the rap for clearing protected land and selling off the forest.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Luigi » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:45 pm

Anchor Moy wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:10 pm
hanno wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:48 pm
"Have been moving"?

Many of the people were moved into protected areas by the government after the same government kicked them off their land. This attack on protected areas is, if not supported, at least ignored by the competent authorities.
You mean that cassava farmers were moved by the government into protected wildlife areas where clashes would be inevitable ?
Try cassava farming in a protected forest. Moving populations like this is bound to trigger violence between new arrivals and natives. If you were cynical, you could almost believe that the government are using desperate subsistence farmers to take the rap for clearing protected land and selling off the forest.
:wink: Who oh who could be so cynical?
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby hanno » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:05 pm

Anchor Moy wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:10 pm
hanno wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:48 pm
"Have been moving"?

Many of the people were moved into protected areas by the government after the same government kicked them off their land. This attack on protected areas is, if not supported, at least ignored by the competent authorities.
You mean that cassava farmers were moved by the government into protected wildlife areas where clashes would be inevitable ?
Try cassava farming in a protected forest. Moving populations like this is bound to trigger violence between new arrivals and natives. If you were cynical, you could almost believe that the government are using desperate subsistence farmers to take the rap for clearing protected land and selling off the forest.
Let's just say that I know of a place where eco tourism, involving the local community, was a great success. Then the Army trucked in outsiders and that was the end of that one.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Anchor Moy » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:25 pm

Yes, they are playing the poor against the poor. Amazing result, the poor lose. :(
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Bitte_Kein_Lexus » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:42 pm

Hanno, some were moved, but in many instances they're just farmers looking to get cheap land and homestead there. Often illegal loggers from other provinces who eventually settle after a lot has been cut down. Or they show up on protected land, build a small but and cut down trees and farm (low scale). Same in Aural and other districts. They come on their own for the most part, though not sure about this particular case.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby hanno » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:45 pm

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:42 pm
Hanno, some were moved, but in many instances they're just farmers looking to get cheap land and homestead there. Often illegal loggers from other provinces who eventually settle after a lot has been cut down. Or they show up on protected land, build a small but and cut down trees and farm (low scale). Same in Aural and other districts. They come on their own for the most part, though not sure about this particular case.
I am sure but I know for a fact that the area I talk about was used to resettle people kicked out by the government elsewhere.
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Anchor Moy » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:36 pm

Even if the people involved have resettled of their own accord, ie. have not been rehoused by the govt, all the land disputes are a result of lack of official land titles and papers. Some people have bought land that might belong to govt.or local authorities, others are squatting and hoping for land titles. It's difficult for them because the government position is constantly changing, and then some land is legal and other not.

If you want to get down to it, large tracts of land in Cambodia could be declared government land and therefore illegal for private ownership - excepting some hard land titles - but many poor rural Cambodians "own " land because they have been living and farming there for 10,20,30 years. And then they get asked for the land titles because outsiders are moving in.
It all comes down to the legal system, so no comment on that. :dm:
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Re: Culture clash; new farmers protest, burn down wildlife sanctuary hut.

Postby Luigi » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:46 pm

''It all comes down to the legal system, so no comment on that.''

I'm mostly sure that is a comment, but could be a statement.

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