The Royal Government has expressed its concern over deforestation, mainly flooded forests clearance, around the Tonle Sap Lake and been committed to fight against this issue and to take legal action against those involved.

The commitment was underlined by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, in a special voice message this afternoon.

A research of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) conducted by its President H.E. Dr. Sok Touch showed that there was anarchic destruction of flooded forests in some provinces, especially Kampong Chhnang province, he said.

The Premier thus ordered the governors of provinces surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake and concerned provincial departments such as environment, water resources, agriculture, and land management, supported by the armed forces, to crack down on forest crimes.

“The government is tired, there is no time to educate anymore, only legal action can solve this issue,” he said.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen also commissioned H.E. Chea Sophara, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction; H.E. Gen. Sao Sokha, Commander of the National Military Police and Chairman of National Committee for Forest Crime Prevention; and H.E. Om Yentieng, Senior Minister, Chairman of Anti-Corruption Unit and other relevant ministries and institutions to work immediately with the provincial authorities on the issue and to bring the perpetrators, whether officials or local people, to court.

Moreover, Samdech Techo Prime Minister ordered to seize at all costs all lands already cleared, adding that those lands must be subject to reforestation.

Besides, he advised all involved officials to confess, if not they will be arrested and not only their lands but also their properties will be confiscated.

In 2011, the government issued a sub-decree No. 197 on marking the boundary of flooded forests surrounding Tonle Sap Lake in six provinces including Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom, covering a total area of 647,406 hectares.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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