Large-scale logging in Cambodia’s Prey Lang linked to politically-connected mining operation

The early onset of Cambodia’s wet season had seen the rain fall thick over Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, turning freshly cut paths through the forest into a near-impassible slick of churned-up mud. But the torrential weather had done little to deter local loggers, who rode out of the beleaguered protected area carrying stacks of unprocessed timber on ko-yun — elongated tractors used for transporting wood.

Over several days and nights in April 2022, reporters saw a parade of ko-yun and motorbikes, all laden with a reddish timber that glinted in the rain as they passed along a road that had been recently carved through the section of Prey Lang forest that falls inside Kratie province.

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Gerald Flynn|Andy Ball|Vutha Srey