Government Announces Five New Protected Forests

Following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s announcement on Thursday that the government would extend protected status to more forestland, the Environment Ministry on Friday released full details on five new protected areas covering a total of 950,000 hectares.

In a statement, the ministry said the new protected areas comprised parts of Prey Lang forest in Kompong Thom, Kratie and Stung Treng provinces; Prey Chrak Robieng Khang Tbong forest in Koh Kong, Pursat and Kompong Speu provinces; Prey Preah Rokar forest in Preah Vihear province; Prey Siem Pang Lech forest in Stung Treng province; and Prey Voen Sai forest in Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri.

All five forests were previously controlled by the Agriculture Ministry, but were recently handed over to the Environment Ministry in accordance with new efforts to disentangle the overlapping functions of the two government bodies.

The Environment Ministry was previously responsible for certain land concessions while the Agriculture Ministry handled some protected areas, but now the Environment Ministry will be wholly responsible for conservation and environmental protection, while the Agriculture Ministry will oversee all land concessions, Mr. Hun Sen announced in February.

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