Life returns to exploited land

Source: Khmer Times

A total of 16 species of rare birds have returned to Boeung Sne Conservation Area since the area was designated a protected site. KT/Mom Sophon

As the sun sets on the Boeung Sne Conservation Area, birdsong swells over the lake. An egret flies to its nest and other birds take to the air, surprised by visitors in a rowing boat.

Chea Sarith looks out from his office overlooking the Prey Veng province flooded forest where 16 species of bird have returned since the area was protected. These include rare species such as the marabou.

Not long ago there was little wildlife there due to loss of forest and illegal hunting.

“The people who live near the lake are happy to see the lost animals from the area return,” says Mr Sarith, president of the WOMEN non-government organisation.

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Land grab ‘instigator’ sought

Source: Khmer Times

A file photo shows a local government official speaking to people who built homes in the area. KT/Seng Siphan

Preah Sihanouk authorities are searching for a mastermind they say has been inciting people to grab land in the province after hundreds of families illegally moved onto plots in Prey Nop district’s Bit Trang commune.

Preah Sihanouk Governor Yun Min said yesterday that the land grabbing in Bit Trang commune had sparked many land disputes, prompting the authorities to deploy forces to stop the invasions.

He appealed to the public to stop the illegal land grabbing.

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Marine park to be created in Preah Sihanouk

Source: Phnom Penh Post

The marine park will aim to protect underwater biodiversity. Supplied

For the first time, a marine park will be created in Preah Sihanouk province to manage and protect the natural resources of the region.

The initiative comes from the Ministry of Environment. Environment Minister Say Samal said this followed the creation of Koh Rong National Park, alongside which the marine sanctuary will be created.

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Villagers questioned over protest against mining company

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Community members gather outside Pate commune hall last week in Ratanakiri province. Photo supplied

Ratanakkiri Provincial Police brought in 15 villagers for questioning on Saturday over their participation in a demonstration last week against a Canadian gold mining company.

Korng Thom village resident Les Virak, 24, said the protesters were brought to O’Yadav District Police station to be questioned by Provincial Deputy Police Chief Chea Bunthoeun and Pate Commune Chief Chhay Thy over suspicions that the protest had been politically motivated – though both officials failed yesterday to explain how the protest might have actually violated the law.
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Prey Veng villagers praise PM over Sokha arrest – and request canal

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Prey Veng community members gather outside Prime Minister’s cabinet yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

About 40 villagers from Prey Veng province submitted a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday supporting his efforts to jail opposition leader Kem Sokha for purported “treason”, while at the same time sneaking in a request for a new canal.
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Agriculture law suspended after PM criticism

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Farmers and agricultural NGO representatives speak on the controversial agricultural law at a workshop on Tuesday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

The Ministry of Agriculture announced the suspension of a controversial draft law to regulate the agricultural sector yesterday evening, hours after Prime Minister Hun Sen tore into the proposed law and called on the ministry to “drop it”.
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Rights worker questioned over use of Kem Ley funds

Source: Khmer Times

Rights activist Moeun Tola yesterday denied mishandling funds for a stupa and funeral ceremonies for slain political analyst Kem Ley. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Human rights worker Moeun Tola yesterday appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on breach of trust allegations over his handling of funds for a stupa and funeral ceremonies for slain political analyst Kem Ley.

In September, the leader of the Cambodian Youth Party Pich Sros filed a complaint against Mr Tola, as well as Venerable But Buntenh and Pa Ngoun Teang, over their handling of funds raised for the funeral and a stupa during one-year anniversary ceremonies for Mr Ley.

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