Tree Plantation

Natural resource utilization, allocation and management in the Mekong region have fallen into disarray over the last two decades. Governments of the respective Mekong countries have adopted policies of intensive natural resource exploitation in stark contradiction to their policies on environmental protection and rural social welfare. Implementation priorities often rest with policies on exploitation, despite severe degradation of the environment, marginalization of the rural poor in the respective societies, even complete destruction of their traditional way of life. This desperate situation forces either migration towards uncertain futures elsewhere or conflict.

The spectacular pervasiveness of industrial tree plantations is a case in point. Often touted as ‘reforestation’ initiatives, industrial tree plantations introduce endless rows of clones of a usually non-native commercial species, into an area in which little else, be it plant or animal, is permitted to grow. When the land upon which the plantation is established was formerly a biodiversity-rich landscape, the paradox of plantations as natural resource extraction becomes clear. Plantations have been expanding rapidly in all Mekong countries often involving the same groups of actors.

Joint Statement: Dispute over Economic Land Concession in Koh Kong’s Chikor Leu Commune in Srae Ambel District

By Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Equitable Cambodia (EC), Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Community Peace Network (CPN), NGO-FORUM, Building Community Voice (BCV), Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) and Earth Rights International (ERI) 24 July 2012


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