Phnom Penh, May 26, 2015: The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) in coordination with Prey Lang Working Group (PLWG) and Indigenous Peoples and Forestry Network (IPFN) organized a National Workshop on “Prey Lang” in order to highlight the key concerns of NGOs and local communities on illegal logging in Prey Lang (PL). The meeting brought various key players to discuss the best strategies to protect PL and urged the Cambodian Government to be accountable regarding illegal logging in the area.
Approximately 159 participants, including representatives from CSOs/NGOs, development partners, Government, Ministry of Environment, Forestry Administration, sub-national authorities, communities and youth attended the event. The participants had paid much attention, gained more knowledge and concepts on the topics presented on SLC by MLMUPC and LWD, ELCs Reviewing Mechanism by MoE, the Important of Forest for Community Livelihood by RUA, esp Encountered Problems by PLCN representative.
After 5 groups discussion on SWOT analysis was taken by PLCN; Sub-National Authorities; NGOs who are working closely with PL; and NGOs who are not working or indirectly involved with PL, the common strategies and suggestions had been revealed to the plenary and will be set up the next step forward.
Prey Lang constitutes a large part of Cambodia’s forests and spans four different provinces, Kratie, Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng. Prey long forest covers approximately 350,000 to 520,000 HAs.
“However, since 2006 until today, PL has been threatened by Economic Land Concessions (ELCs), mining concessions and deforestation which destroys natural resources in the areas,” said Dr. Tek Vannara, NGOF’s Executive Director, “thus, we undertake this workshop, which included the Prey Lang Working Group (PLWG) and the Indigenous Peoples and Forestry Network (IPFN), to work together and seek the best solutions to protect the remaining part of the forest, or Cambodia will ending facing many challenges, especially, climate change and livelihood issues.”
“We urge the government to reinforce laws against illegal logging, and to register and accept customary forest communities and to ensure procedures to register Prey Lang forest as a protected area,” he said.
Mr. Hoeun Sophea, a Prey Lang Community Network Representative from Kampong province, raised concerns the communities facing many issues including the continuing destruction of the forest are for the agriculture, migrant workers and illegal logging that course lot of trouble to the Community Forest. He urged that the government could conduct an exposure visit to the site and seeking for effective solutions to prevent further illegal logging at PL.
Prey Lang covers about 3600 km². This includes the core zone of 8000-10000 HA of evergreen forest. The most biologically important and until now undisturbed part of Prey Lang covers about 135,000 HA.The forest is a crucial watershed for Cambodia and is absorber large amounts of carbon dioxide. Therefore the region is very useful in offsetting the emissions caused by industrial pollution. Acting as a watershed, the forest complex helps regulate the supply of water to both Kampong Chan and Kampong Thom.
Click below for:
- Prey Lang Joint Statement in Khmer
- Prey Lang Joint Statement in English