Flouting moratorium, Cambodia approves four land concessions in protected areas

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
June 27, 2012



A month-and-a-half after Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, declared a moratorium on on new economic land concessions, the government has announced four new concessions, each located in protected areas. Economic land concessions have come under the microscope in Cambodia after large-scale protests by local people and the recent murder of forest activist Chut Wutty. Critics say the concessions, which last year totaled two million hectares (4.9 million acres) sold off to foreign corporations, have resulted in local land conflict and environmental degradation.

According to the Phnom Penh Post, the Cambodian government has granted 35,000 hectares (86,400 acres) of economic land concessions to four companies: 8,200 hectares (20,200 acres) in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary; 9,688 hectares (23,939 acres) in Kirirom National Park; 9,068 hectares (22,407 acres) in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary; and 9,000 hectares (22,200 acres) in Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.

However, Hun Sen has denied breaking the government's moratorium by signing the economic land concessions, reports Voice of America. Instead the Prime Minister said that the concessions were agreed on before the moratorium was declared on May 7th.

Hun Sen granted three other economic land concessions after the moratorium, totaling an additional 22,000 hectares. The government argued that these land concessions had also been near-approved before the moratorium went into place.

Despite questions of legality, the Cambodian government has a history of handing out land in National Parks and other protected areas to foreign companies for rubber plantations and mining among other industries.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (June 27, 2012).

Flouting moratorium, Cambodia approves four land concessions in protected areas.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0627-hance-cambodia-land-concessions.html