Minister calls for chainsaw import ban to tackle logging
Environment Minister Say Sam Al on February 6 said he would seek approval for a ban on the import of chainsaws in a bid to tackle the country’s persistent illegal logging trade. Mr. Sam Al announced his plans during a morning meeting at the ministry, where about 300 national and provincial government officials had gathered with nongovernmental groups and diplomats to discuss ways to combat the destruction of Cambodia’s natural resources, including its forests. “I will write a letter to the Finance Ministry asking to stop the import of chainsaws,” the minister said. “I wish to recognize the truth that there are many people using chainsaws to cut down trees in some provinces, especially in Prey Lang.” Prey Lang is the largest lowland evergreen forest left in Southeast Asia and was designated a protected area in April last year, after years of lobbying by communities and NGOs worried that loggers and surrounding agribusiness plantations would soon wipe it off the map.