The NGO Forum on Cambodia organized Quarterly Members Meeting (QMM) on Friday 29th April, 2016, at Phnom Penh Ecumenical Diakonia Centre (PPEDC). The meeting was participated by 84 (25 female) who are representatives of member organizations, network members, and partners. The common objectives of the Quarterly Member Meeting are to:
– Exchange the current information and knowledge among NGO/CO community;
– Update members about the NGO Forum’s progress and challenges; and
– Discuss common solutions in order to improve performance of the NGO Forum as well all member organizations; and
The meeting was opened and welcome by Ms. Prum Bopha, Director of Rural Aid
Organization (RAO) and member of management committee of the NGO Forum on
Cambodia. In her opening remark, Ms. Prum Bopha mentioned the objectives and the main agenda of the Quarterly Member Meeting:
– Update of the government’s recent approval and announcement on the Prey Lang Protected Area;
– Update on the progress of ongoing of the National Committee for Crack down Illegal Logging and Timber Trade;
– To present progress and challenges and more activities of Prey Lang Community; and
– To urge the government to be accountable in implement the sub-decree on establishing PreyLand Protected Area;
Dr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia reported the achievement and works in progress of the NGO FORUM on Cambodia within the first quarter of 2015 as well as its ways forward. Observed Progress for CSO/NGOs including the changing in public management and function of Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture; the government through Ministry of Agriculture more open for CSO/NGOs to provide consultation on Agriculture Land Law; established of National Forest Crime Crack-down Committee; more space for CSO/NGOs cooperation with Chinese firm in Cambodia; and the reshuffle of ministerial cabinet composition and minister of agriculture was replaced. During the period there are some challenges which is GIZ’s land right project faced out; TWG-Land: the meeting, update and progress was not clear flow; European Union program faced out of forestry sector and turn to fishery; and recent pressure against CSO/NGO’s human right activists.
Mr. Meas Buntheoun, Deputy Director General of Cadastral and Geography of
Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction presented about Communal Land Titling and achievement. There are 43 communities (not 34) which already registered and they are community affair working in the process. The reasons for slow processing on the community land registration are:
– Some communities do not have enough legal documents determined by law;
– Some communities must be approved by ministry of rural development before proposing to ministry of interior.
Every community who wish to register for communal land title must submit application to Land Administration respectively. Ministry will continue action plan in its long-term strategic plan since 2014, ministry has committed to achieve at least 10 land-title registration for community land.
Mr. Seng Sokheng, secretariat of Community Development for Peace and Sustainability briefed about so far activities and more activities on Prey Land forest: Key activities by Prey Lang community and CSOs includes: Advocacy (local, national and international); Community mobilization and capacity development; Network building; Raising awareness of Prey Lang and the ongoing problems in the Prey Lang; Facilitate dialogue between stakeholders; The development of livelihoods; Ensure ordinary and extraordinary meetings. Mr. Seng Sokheng proposed activities to do including:
1. Enforce of the ongoing of sub-decree on establishing of Prey Lang Protected area as soon as possible;
2. Take more actions and intervention on forest crimes at Prey Lang Protected Area;
3. Advocate for putting Preah Vihear forest in to Prey Lang Protected Area;
4. Advocate for recognition of some other PreyLand Communities Networks by government;
Mr. Chie Sokhouen, Member of Prey Lang Community Network from Stoeung Treng province presented his notice on the progress and challenges of Prey Lang Community so far which at the end of 2014, Civil Society Organizations working in forestry sector, particularly Prey Lang joined as Prey Lang Working Group with following objectives:
– To strengthen coordination and communication between organizations working in Prey Lang in order to increase participation and came up with a joint advocacy strategy to protect Prey Lang;
– To promote harmony between organizations and donors and to address the challenges arise in the Prey Lang;
– To integrate various plans and activities of the organizations into common plan in order to influence policy makers.
The progress of Prey Land working group is:
– The public both inside country and international show understanding of the great importance of Prey Lang Forest Area;
– The government recently approved and announced the Prey Lang Protected Areas in place;
– The government has urged the relevant authorities to enforce the sub-decree on the protect forests;
– There greater direct participation from public in Prey Lang area forest movement.
– Development project which include factory for crops, agro-industry, mining and hydroelectricity are the major threats to destruction of Prey Lang.
– Illegal logging and the concessions for agro-industry and mineral exploration. Forests are also suffered by destruction and replaced by rubber trees and cassava (for ethanol), or the exploration of iron ore and other raw materials.
– We recently heard that the government has provided four concessions locations in the core area of the Prey Lang. And if this is true, we concern that “it is too serious for forests and communities”.
Gen. Eng Hy, Representative of National Committee for Crack down Illegal Logging and Timber Trade, made update about committee’s activities so far which started from 15 January 2016 to today, including:
– Activity illegal logging, illegal exports of timber and other forest crimes were completely calm.
– Strengthened patrol in target geographic and deployed along the border between Cambodia and Vietnam in the northeastern province of 96 target areas.
– Cracked the transport of lumber in 46 concrete cases.
– Detained 27 trucks, contracts and education from committing further offenses.
– Research has discovered illegal logging a total of 71.314,769 cubic meters in-and-outside the warehouses, concessions areas of 5 provinces.
– 17 vehicles, 03 Abulsazers, 02 motorcycles, 05 transport-tractors, 07 sawing machines.
– Filing a case to Prosecutor of 57 cases.
– Detained 11 suspects sent to the Provincial Prosecutor.
– Prosecution representative has issued a total of 32 warrants (31 summons warrant and an arrest warrant 1 warrant).
New updated on Cambodia Budget Website were presented by Mrs. Kim Nay, Development Issues Programme Manager of the NGO Forum on Cambodia.
At the end of the agenda, Ms. Prum Bopha summarized meeting inputs including information updated, knowledge shared and solutions discussed among the participants. The Quarterly Members Meeting (QMM) was closed at 12 noon.