samlot – Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on Monday told Khmer Rouge defectors and commanders that scores of illegally cut and stockpiled logs must be left to rot in the forest.
In his speech heralding the integration of hundreds of defectors, Sar Kheng said that “not less than 100,000 square meters” of cut timber in the Samlot district of Battambang province is waiting to be moved from forests.
Felled timber cannot be moved from the forest, according to a new policy that aims to discourage unauthorized logging.
Top forestry and agriculture officials on Wednesday hailed the tactic, saying that it will halt harvesting in timber-rich Samlot. “This measure could save trees in that area,” said Chay Samith, acting conservation director for the Ministry of Environment.
Former Khmer Rouge forces based in Samlot slipped back into resistance just a year after defecting to the government. Defectors on Monday said logging disputes with Phnom Penh army generals in part caused the conflict.
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