Preah Vihear, July 14 – 17, 2015: Twenty network members (04 women) of Indigenous Peoples and Forestry Network (IPFN) actively participated in the 3rd quarter meeting organized by the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) in Preah Vihear.
The first day of the meeting began with the field visiting to the Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) development project sites of the Long Feng and Rui Feng Companies, situated in Pro Meh, Pu Kong, Chak Cha Basra and follow with a one-day meeting back in the town.
The main objectives of the meeting were to update on IPFN working progress from the last couple months, further working plans, specifically, an advocacy strategy for Pro Meh ELCs case, and the selection of network/member representatives for an international exposure visit in Indonesia, in which going to happen in September, 2015.
“There are such great results from this meeting, especially, through the field visit to Praia Meh. This trip does help us in term of creating productive discussions as well as setting a series of advocacy strategy with a proper timeline for this ECLs issue” said Sam Somony, Forestry Rights Project Coordinator of NGOF. “Meanwhile, an exciting presentation about the pilot project by Community Development for Peace and Sustainability (CDPS-CPN) in producing special app to Track Illegal Logging in Prey Lang, is introduced to the group is very interesting. Everyone is looking forward to its official launching, so this tool can be used to report illegal logging cases in Cambodia in the near future if applicable.”
On the last meeting day, the free and fair election was conducted. Fiver network/members and community representatives got the majority supports and appointed to join the trip to Indonesia.
This trip is an opportunity for network/members to learn and gain new experiences over IPs and Forestry Governance, and to share with other network and communities upon their returns. It also is a good opportunity for IPFN to learn about the regional advocacy campaign.
Another achievement of the bi-monthly meeting, the group managed to organize a formal meeting with Preah Vihear Deputy Provincial Governor and competent departments. The meeting composed of two important discussions, including the conflict between the ELC companies and the progress of Community Land Title (CLT), as the total size of primary map needed to verify to get consensus before heading to last stage of CLT. Department of Rural development and Land Management along with deputy provincial suggested to all key actors, including NGOs to continue the seek for resolutions regarding the concerns over the controversial conflict.