Koh Kong officials to clear settlements in wildlife sanctuary

Source : Khmer Times

Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary. Supplied

Koh Kong provincial authorities plan to take action against people illegally occupying land in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary.

Provincial Governor Mithona Phouthorng said in a statement on Monday that the Environment Ministry and the provincial administration are determined to preserve the sanctuary for the benefit of all Cambodians.

She said the wildlife sanctuary was established by a royal decree in 1993 to protect and conserve natural resources, especially water sources.

Ms Mithona said that action being taken to protect the forest includes checking the documentation of those living in it and demolishing illegally-built structures.

“All the competent authorities, local authorities, and people who have land ownership certification letters in the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, please cooperate with this initiative to protect the sanctuary,” she said.

Koh Kong Deputy Governor Sok Sothy could not be reached for comment yesterday. Provincial Hall director Ouch Touch declined to comment.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Mean Prom Mony said yesterday that he supports the action to protect the sanctuary.

However, he said that those who had settled in the area a long time ago should be relocated before they are told to vacate the land.

“If there are people who have lived in the area for a long time without knowing it is a protected area, then the provincial authorities should provide alternative places for them to live,” he said. “There is plenty of available land in Koh Kong, as the population is small.”



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