While Ministry of Environment officials claim they and relevant departments implement forest protection and conservation measures responsibly, forest protection activists have expressed frustration over their inability to participate in patrols where illegal logging took place.
The activists complained they are barred from forest protection efforts and are being obstructed from carrying out patrols to protect illegal activity.
More than 60 monks, activists, community associations and civil society organisations issued a joint statement on Tuesday stating a ban on forest patrols provided the opportunity for criminals and especially companies, to log and transport timber from protected areas.
The activists are targeting two companies in particular – Think Biotech (Cambodia) Co Ltd, which exports timber through a partner company, Angkor Plywood Co Ltd, according to the statement.
Both companies have continued to operate during the Covid-19 outbreak while forest activists, especially the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), have been banned from entering the forest’s core area, activists said.