The Kampong Speu provincial governor has instructed authorities in Oral district to reclaim more than 2,000 hectares of state forest being overtaken by so-called anarchists in Oral Wildlife Sanctuary.
The order, issued on Friday, instructed provincial and district authorities, along with environment department officials and the Oral Wildlife Conservation Commission, to take back the land, some of which has been cleared by illegal land brokers selling plots to villagers.
“The administration of Oral district, the provincial administration, the environment department and the Oral Wildlife Conservation Commission must prevent and suppress land clearing for possession, and enforce this order effectively,” the order from governor Vy Samnang said.
Mr Samnang could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Chea Hean, director of the Natural Resource and Wildlife Preservation Organisation, said he supported the action being taken by the governor.
“I support this order because the area is a sanctuary, which is protected by royal decrees,” he said. “The size of the illegal land sales is 2,089 hectares, but only three hectares of land has been cleared, so I hope the authorities act quickly to arrest the illegal brokers.”
According to a Ministry of Environment report released in October, Cambodia has a total of 19 wildlife sanctuaries covering 3,684,328 hectares.
The Oral Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 253,750 hectares in Kampong Speu, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang provinces.