Indigenous groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on Thursday dismissed a recent directive from Cambodia’s government ordering local authorities to end illegal logging, calling the move a “show” aimed at mending its reputation of being too soft on forest crimes.
On June 19, Minister of Agriculture Veng Sakhon issued a statement asking all provincial agriculture directors to take action against illegal logging, land encroachment, and forest destruction according to the law.
“Illegal fishing, illegal logging, and illegal encroachment on state land remarkably continues to exist in a few provinces, so in order to ensure effective management—especially of forests and fisheries—the Ministry of Agriculture calls on provincial and municipal agriculture officers to take action to prevent and crack down on [these violations] through any means necessary,” the statement said.
The directive did not include any details about illegal logging or other forest crimes.
RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.