PHNOM PENH, (Khmer Times) – More than 100 monks from across the Kingdom will gather in Prey Lang forest on July 2 for four days before travelling to Phnom Penh to protest against illegal logging and other environmental threats to the forest, activist monk Venerable But Buntenh said.
Venerable Buntenh, who leads the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, told Khmer Times, “Monks cannot remain silent on the issue given the alarming rate of deforestation.”
He said 110 monks will gather in the forest that spans four provinces and covers 3,600 square miles between the Mekong and Steung Sen rivers.
Venerable Buntenh, who is also an executive director of Buddhism for Peace, said the monks will depart for the forest at 7am on July 2.
Their goal is to encourage others to protect the Kingdom’s biodiversity, he said.
Prey Lang shelters 20 endangered wildlife species and is home to 200,000 members of ethnic minorities. However, Prey Lang it is threatened by large-scale illegal logging in economic land concessions, he said.
Deforestation has reached a record high and the monks want to alert all people that Prey Lang is in danger and needs protection immediately.