Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cambodia aims to roll out forest preservation program [-Can the govt be trusted to maintain such program?]

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Forestry Administration of Cambodia hopes to implement by September a program designed to prevent development projects from decimating Cambodia's forests, national media reported Thursday.
The program would prioritize the use of law enforcement to crack down on illegal loggers, the identification and demarcation of forest areas, increased community participation in forest conservation, and investment in research projects related to the country's forests, Ty Sokhun, director of the administration, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

Currently, the administration has completed 30 percent of a draft document detailing the program, Ty Sokhun said, adding that they hope to hold forums for public discussion of the program in May and to implement it in September.

"We strongly believe that this program will not only make forests in Cambodia more abundant but also improve the lives of people living in rural communities and reduce poverty throughout the country," he said.

Meanwhile, Keng Pou, a member of the Phnong minority group living in Ratanakkiri province, called for the government to assist local efforts to encourage forest preservation.

"We need the government to encourage us, and support and protect us when we are fighting against illegal loggers," he told the Post.

He said some members of his village have sustained serious injuries while fighting off illegal loggers.


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