Photograph: Pha Lina / Phnom Penh Post The Prey Lang community has been acting in violation of the National Protected Areas Act, the Ministry of Environment said, following authorities Prevented the community from moving into Prey Lang to celebrate the tree planting festival.

Prey Lang Community Network is planning a two-day tree planting ceremony in Prey Lang from February 22-23 It was interrupted by law enforcement and Ministry of Environment officials. Participants, young men and monks traveling by bus from Phnom Penh and four provinces, returned home. Back to myself yesterday.

Neth Pheaktra, secretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of Environment on February 22, wrote in a telephone call, calling the Prey Lang community network. All four provinces, including Kampong Thom, Kratie, Stung Treng and Preah Vihear, are illegal and express their regret that these communities were once illegal. And mm Again.

He considers the attempt to prune the trees of Prey Lang community in cooperation with some civil society organizations as illegal Good and conflict with the law under the pretext of "absolute" liberty.

“The area that the Prey Lang community wants to access is an area that is protected and protected especially To wildlife and ecosystems in the area. Day-and-night Ministry of Environment officials are working to protect forestry and wildlife in the Prey Lang area day and night, patrolling, blocking and suppressing “The crime that exists in the protected area as well as the trapping of the offender has been caught illegally.” .

Mr. Pheaktra has requested organizations such as Equitable Cambodia, especially Peace Bridge and Danmission, which have no jurisdiction and are not Signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Environment should stop its illegal activities in protected areas and behind the Prey Lang network On top of that. "If these organizations want to cooperate and participate in conservation work with the Ministry of the Environment, it should be more formal Working illegally is beyond their jurisdiction, which creates suspicion of dishonesty in their work.

Neth Pheaktra says that Prey Lang community networks often try to act outside the law and isolate themselves from the leadership of natural resource management and conservation. With relevant institutions. He confirmed that on February 14 and 15, 2020, the Ministry of Environment, along with the community, protected areas throughout the country, the provincial authority of the forest area Lang organized a camping and tree planting program in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary with over 500 participants, but these organizations turned Create a separate application Violates the law of protected areas.

However, according to a statement from the Prey Lang community network, the celebration of the tree-planting ceremony is intended to commemorate Forestry and Pray for Prey Lang Forest in Daun Penh Promote Public Awareness that Prey Lang Forests Are Creating Wildlife Sanctuary and Strengthening Collaboration with the Royal Government The protection of natural resources and biodiversity in tropical forests.

Prey Lang community chief in the province says that tree-planting ceremony in Prey Lang So far, local authorities, including Ministry of Environment officials, have been involved.

The fourth celebration in 2020, he said, was a community letter sent to all concerned institutions The four provinces, including the Ministry of Environment, have been around for the past month. He added that the Prey Lang community is a voluntary and law-abiding citizen group that joins the government to protect the forest from loss.

“According to the relevant documents, the Constitution also says that people of both sexes must participate in the protection of all natural resources We are not the Ministry of the Environment or anybody, and we have to protect all of it Do not understand, is it illegal? ”

So far, the number of people attending the tree-planting ceremony in Prey Lang is around 400, he said.

Thi added that the Prey Lang community from Preah Vihear province, which had been blocked by authorities, was more than 100 and he said Also invited organizations including LICADHO, but LICADHO officials were blocked by authorities in the middle of the road Organize a tree-planting ceremony This too.

LICADHO released a statement on February 21 stating that authorities from the Ministry of Environment and local officials, some of whom were armed with rifles Tell the four provincial community groups that a permit from the “upper house” is required for access to Prey Lang These participants are required to have a “permit The official said. LICADHO maintains that the protection of natural resources is not required by law to obtain permits.

The Prey Lang community was denied permission to patrol the forest after the community released a report on February 3 One claimed that from 2001 to 2018, more than 40,000 hectares of forest, or nearly 10 percent of wildlife sanctuary Prey Lang forest, totaling more than 400,000 hectares, was lost. However, the report is considered by the Neth Pheaktra as misleading and unrecognized.