World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Breaking news from Cambodia can be found here. CEO often finds Khmer news and translates it into English for our readers if it is interesting to expats, locals, Cambodians living abroad and anyone who wants to stay informed of the latest local and international news stories about Cambodia and our neighbors in South East Asia. There are many sources for Khmer news articles and they can all be found here in one place. Most of the media comes out of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap or Sihanoukville, but we cover national Cambodian news from all provinces.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Kammekor » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:56 am

Reading again, I am a bit confused. The Se San river area hardly has any forest anymore, but on the Northern banks of the Sre Pok there's still loads. The Se San is also wider and deeper than the Sre Pok.

The only place along the Se San I can think of the local media are referring to is the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, but the Western side of it has been turned into a palm oil plantation about 3-4 years ago, maybe they refer to the eastern side of it, but it's a rather small area, much smaller than the Virachey area where 'apparently' a massive deforestation is going on. Most of the hardwood available here locally comes from the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary though.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:05 am

Crackdown on logging has been a ‘success’: Bin Chhin
29 December 2017
Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin oversaw a meeting on illegal logging in the northeast region of Cambodia, reportedly branding the Kingdom’s anti-logging crackdown a “success” despite evidence to the contrary.

Srun Darith, with the Ministry of Environment, said the group evaluated the crackdown as “successful”, claiming the task force had “completely” eliminated large-scale trafficking. “There is no more large-scale forest crime . . . We have done it successfully,” Darith said.

However, a Post investigation earlier this year revealed hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of timber being transported by over 100 loggers in Ratanakkiri, and Vietnamese customs data show illegal imports of timber continue apace.

Darith said the panel also discussed illegal logging in the Sesan Dam area. Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co was given permission to log the dam’s reservoir area but were accused of logging far beyond it for profit.

Conservationist Marcus Hardtke said many large-scale operations were reported to the ministry this year.
“At the time, the minister claimed investigations were being conducted. Where are the results?” he asked via email.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/c ... -bin-chhin
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by that genius » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:11 am

If you decriminalise illegal logging, then there is no illegal logging.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Arget » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:12 am

And then we would have the Cambodian Desert..
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Duncan » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:39 pm

Arget wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:12 am
And then we would have the Cambodian Desert..

That would be the perfect situation for the Israelis to start a large scale hydroponics employing thousands of unemployed loggers.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:05 pm

Inside The Criminal Network Ravaging Cambodia’s Forests ― And The Community Fighting To Save Them
“It’s a bit of a David and Goliath story.”
By Jesselyn Cook 27 Jan, 2018

Cambodia’s forests are quietly and rapidly disappearing. As the impoverished country slides deeper into political crisis, corrupt elites continue to siphon off its natural resources through a criminal network in which state officials and Prime Minister HE’s cronies are allegedly complicit.

The government’s latest efforts to curb illegal logging and deforestation have been hampered by poor law enforcement, high-level corruption and the state’s own crackdown on its environmental critics. And as Phnom Penh grants companies economic land concessions ― or long-term land leases ― to establish rubber and palm oil plantations, local community members have found themselves on a daunting mission to protect what remains of their beloved forests.

Image
With one of the highest rates of tree cover loss in the world, the country saw nearly 2 million hectares, or 20 percent of its forests, diminish between 2001 and 2016. Satellite images from NASA show the drastic transformation over time.

Full article: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ca ... 1621b45772
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Gardiguy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:25 pm

Got more wood?

http://m.phnompenhpost.com/national/tim ... tnam-again

Despite a ban on timber exports and the government’s repeated declaration that “large-scale” logging has been stopped, Vietnamese customs data compiled by watchdog Forest Trends show a significant increase in the import of Cambodian logs and sawn wood in 2017.

The data show that some 163,071 cubic metres of Cambodian logs were exported to Vietnam in 2017, a 17 percent increase on the year before. The value of exports jumped 21 percent to $40 million.

The figures for sawn wood, or lumber, meanwhile, reflect an even more “substantial” increase, in particular during the dry season, according to Forest Trends senior policy analyst Phuc Xuan To. The data show a near 60 percent jump from 171,306 cubic metres in exports to 272,693 cubic metres, and a near-$25 million increase in value to more than $173 million.

Xuan To said in an email that three border crossings saw the highest transport of logs in the first half of 2017: the Le Thanh checkpoint, which connects to Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district; Bo Y, which connects to Virachey National Park via a road passing through Laos; and Hoa Lu, which connects to Kratie province.

Cambodian authorities have maintained that large-scale logging ceased last year after a crackdown and announcement of an export ban of timber to Vietnam in January 2016.

“Cambodia’s ban on exports of timber and wood products is clearly meaningless for the dozen or so companies that appear to control all exports to Vietnam,” Jago Wadley, a Senior Forest Campaigner for EIA wrote by email. The organisation found that at the end of 2016 and start of 2017, a coordinated campaign among Vietnamese companies and officials on both side of the border resulted in the export of some 350,000 cubic metres of timber in just five months.

“Vietnamese government institutions at both central and provincial levels authorised the issuance of import quotas for wood that could not be legally exported from Cambodia, established extraordinary border crossings to facilitate the smuggling, and taxed the proceeds of crime,” he wrote.

“The new data just shows Vietnam’s government has continued to tax the proceeds of Cambodian crimes.”

A breakdown of the customs data by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) from October 2016 through September 2017 by wood species shows that the most heavily targeted is Xylia dolabriformis Benth, known as sokram in Cambodia.

The luxury wood accounts for some 21 percent of the import volume for that period. Meanwhile about 15 percent was Keruing timber, commonly used to manufacture plywood, with a similar volume being recorded as the luxury wood known locally as thnong.

Logs are hauled onto a Vietnamese transporter in Ratanakkiri province for delivery to Vietnam in February 2017. EIA

Eng Hy, spokesman for the Military Police, who chairs the government’s anti-logging task force, was unreachable yesterday.

Environment Minister Say Samal declined to comment unless presented with “an official letter or data”, and ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said that because the data were compiled by Forest Trends, and did not come directly from the Vietnamese government, “verification is needed before conclusion”. The ministry has previously disputed customs data published by Forest Trends and EIA and made claims that it is politicised.

Speaking at a luncheon held by the business group EuroCham Cambodia in January, Minister Samal repeated the claim that only “small-scale” logging remained, pointing specifically to Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary near the Vietnamese border as a success story.

Just last week three forest patrollers there were gunned down, allegedly by border police and soldiers colluding with a cross-border logging operation.

The park’s director, Kong Putheara, downplayed the extent of logging in the area. “Only the other day, there was a case that three men were shot dead, and that’s it. Besides that, there is nothing going on,” he said.

In an email this week, Goldman Prize-winning environmentalist Ouch Leng said the cross-border trade with Vietnam is the “main cause of deforestation in Cambodia”. Leng called on the EU to discontinue its imports of wood from Vietnam, alleging that timber smuggled from Cambodia is re-exported to EU markets, thus embroiling Europe in environmental crimes that are the result of “systematic corruption from [the] bottom to [the] national level”.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Anchor Moy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:16 am

You couldn't make this up.
PM blames Cambodia’s logging problem on opposition
5 March 2018
Prime Minister HE yesterday blamed Cambodia’s rampant deforestation on local villagers who he claimed had been “incited” by the opposition to clear the forestland, though conservationists were quick to point out that those behind illegal logging are actually often powerful tycoons connected to the ruling party or even officials themselves.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said HE’s assertion was so outlandish that he initially thought the premier was making a joke. “I think that the government has failed to protect the forest and is making others the scapegoat,” he said.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/p ... opposition
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by Duncan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:51 am

Srey Mom who works in Candy Bar, told me the government is so committed on saving the forests that they have thrown out all the rosewood timber furniture, tables and chairs , and wall linings in the government offices and replaced it all with imitation wood from Vietnam.
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Re: World Environment Day: Update! Illegal Logging has Finished.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:30 am

Government timber figures belie ‘ban’ on Vietnam trade
28 March 2018
A series of quarterly reports from the National Bank of Cambodia raises questions about the government’s ban on timber exports, as they show that last year, more than $5 million in sawn timber was exported from the Kingdom.

The latest report, released earlier this month using statistics sourced from the Department of Customs and Excise, reports sawn timber exports valued at $780,000 over the last three months of 2017.

Combined with figures from previous reports for the year – which name sawn timber as a “major component of total exports” – the total value of sawn timber exported by Cambodia stands at 20.1 billion riel (about $5.22 million).

This figure is in stark contrast to last year’s sawn timber export value of $173 million to Vietnam reported by the NGO Forest Trends in February. The Environment Ministry has contested the data as unofficial as it did not come directly from the Vietnamese government, though the NGO does source its information from Vietnam’s General Department of Customs. Similar data produced by the watchdog group Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) were also contested.
https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/ ... tnam-trade
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