In the Media
Cambodia: Economic land concessions in Prey Lang rejected
August 06, 2012
In a rare victory for those battling to preserve Prey Lang forest, the government has cancelled four economic land concessions in the area totalling more than 40,000 hectares that threatened pristine ecosystems.
Another 3,200 hectare ELC in Koh Kong province has also been cancelled, while two more in Kratie province and one in Mondulkiri province totalling 30,000 hectares have been restricted, according to an unofficial translation of a letter from the Council of Ministers to relevant ministries obtained by the Post.
The letter dated July 2 declares that four ELCs totalling 40,618 hectares have been cancelled in Kampong Thom’s Sandan district because they are located in the middle of evergreen and semi-evergreen forest inside “the largest low-land [contiguous evergreen] forest in Southeast Asia” – Prey Lang.
The establishment of subsidiary companies by a single firm is a tactic that multiple companies in Cambodia have employed to skirt the 10,000-hectare limit in the 2001 Land Law placed on ELCs. Deforestation of the roughly 360,000 hectare greater Prey Lang forest by development companies granted ELCs has sparked staunch resistance from some of the estimated 350,000 residents in the greater Prey Lang area.
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Keywords: Asia, Cambodia, ELC, land concession, Land grab, land tenure, Prey Lang, rubber