11 September 2014 | Zsombor Peter and Mech Dara | Cambodia Daily
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.
14 August 2014 | Kevin Ponniah | The Phnom Penh Post
13 August 2014 | Suy Heimkhemra | VOA Khmer
25 January 2014 | Sok Khemara | VOA Khmer
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