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NGO to pay farmer $3,000 for cutting down trees

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Wildlife Alliance cleared the family’s fruit trees in Koh Kong province’s Koh Kong district. Mother Nature

A farming family has agreed to receive $3,000 in compensation from the Wildlife Alliance after it cleared the family’s fruit trees in Koh Kong province’s Koh Kong district.

Yorng Tay, the wife of farmer Seng Thet, said by phone day that Wildlife Alliance agreed to pay $3,000 to her and her husband for clearing their fruit trees, including mangos, durians, coconuts, rambutans and mangosteens.

“On Saturday, Wildlife Alliance provided a document of compensation in English but we do not read English and asked them translate it into the Khmer language,” Ms Tay said. “We have not received the $3,000 compensation from them yet.”

Provincial Hall officials had invited both sides to negotiate after the NGOs workers cut down the trees in the district’s Trapaing Roung commune last week.

The trees were on a hectare of land which Mr Thet claimed, but alliance officials said was a protected area.

Ms Tay noted that authorities have not allowed her to cultivate the one hectare of land involved in the dispute, although she had a receipt proving that the land in Trapaing Roung commune belonged to her and her husband after students measured the area for them.

“There were about 500 families in the commune which had problems with Wildlife Alliance over fruit trees planted in the area,” Ms Tay said. “We protested against them and sent a letter to the provincial governor to solve the problem.”

Man Phala, provincial environment department director, on Thursday said that Wildlife Alliance agreed to pay compensation to Mr Thet after provincial officials invited both sides to discuss the issue.

Full story in Monday’s paper

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