Prey Lang, Prey Preah Roka Monitors Suppressed While Tree Cover Vanishes: Report

Forest watchers in 2020 filed 90 percent fewer reports of illegal logging amid officials’ threats against community patrols, according to an international research report, as one advocate said young people were refraining from joining patrols out of fear of repercussions.

Using a combination of satellite data and alerts from community forest patrollers, the report by a coalition of local NGOs and European institutions said Prey Lang in 2020 suffered the greatest tree cover loss by percentage in the two decades studied.

Three wildlife sanctuaries in Cambodia’s northern landscape — Prey Lang, Prey Preah Roka and Sorng Roka Vorn — lost a combined 10,000 hectares of forest in 2020, according to the report, with both Prey Lang and Prey Preah Roka seeing 80 percent of that loss come within the last five years. The report follows up on 2020 forest loss and canopy disturbances data published by satellite imagery service Global Forest Watch.

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Danielle Keeton-Olsen