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EU Ambassador Calls for Protection of Forest

Ban Sokrith and Phun Chan Ousaphea / Khmer Times Share:

European Union ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar has appealed to the government to take better care of the Prey Lang forest after visiting it and observing that the largest primary lowland dry evergreen forest on the Indochinese Peninsula is still under threat despite recent measures by the Prime Minister to curb illegal deforestation and illegal timber smuggling. 
On a visit to the forest on January 13 and 14, Mr. Edgar met with the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), a volunteer team working to protect the forest from illegal logging, according to the European Union in Cambodia’s Facebook page.
It added that Mr. Edgar was joined by Danish Ambassador to Cambodia Mikael Hemniti Winther in a trip organized by NGOs Danmission and Peace Bridge.
“This was a great opportunity for me to directly see such a vital forest area and also watch the work of the Prey Lang Community Network, who are carefully working to ensure the area’s future. Prey Lang should not only be considered of great importance to Cambodia, but to the world as well,” Mr. Edgar said. 
He added that because of Prey Lang’s importance to the rest of Cambodia’s ecological system, the loss of the forest would have dire effects on not only the people living directly within it, but also on the greater community living around the Tonle Sap Lake.
He went on to say that although the duration of his trip was short, it provided him with proof that Prey Lang is without a doubt under threat of deforestation. 
“There is importance in taking action quickly,” he said. Appropriate measures from provincial and local authorities to stop illegal logging must be taken to guarantee economic land concessions will neither be given nor enlarged in this vital forest area.”
These most recent statements were made in light of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s recent push to create a national commission, led by National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha, to prevent illegal logging and timber smuggling.

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