Rod Harbinson

Cambodian army soldiers attack Chut Wutty, November 2011. Photo: Vanessa de Smet Last Line Productions / N1M.

Banned: premiere of film probing Cambodian ecodefender's murder

Rod Harbinson
| 21st April 2016
A film investigating the 2012 murder of a forest defender has been banned by the Cambodian Government, writes Rod Harbinson. Chut Wutty's campaign to protect the forest on which his community depends clashed with powerful business and military interests. A first attack by soldiers was held off by campaigners, but...

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Ven Vorn enjoyed dinner with his family and friends in Koh Kong City shortly after his release from prison. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: indigenous eco-defender released after five months jail on false charges

Rod Harbinson
Mongabay
| 22nd March 2016
After five months of wrongful imprisonment, an environmental activist has finally been set free and reunited with his family, writes Rod Harbinson. His case highlights the way Cambodia's Government subjects eco-defenders to harsh, unjust and arbitrary detention, while illegal logging barons and large-scale timber smugglers lead charmed lives, always above the law.

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A tribal elder from the Tagbanua tribe in Quezon municipality, central Palawan. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Philippines islanders unite to resist 'land grab' palm oil companies

Rod Harbinson
| 7th January 2016
Farmers on Palawan are being tricked into giving land away to palm oil companies with local government support, writes Rod Harbinson. Under the palm oil company 'leases' the farmers lose all rights to their land, never receive any money, and are saddled with 25 years of debt. Those who resist the land grabs are now in fear for their lives following the murder of a prominent campaigner.

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Even though the Baram dam is on hold, logging of the reservoir area and surrounding forest is proceeding apace. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Indigenous activists celebrate bitter victory over rainforest dam moratorium

Rod Harbinson
Mongabay
| 22nd October 2015
As indigenous activists opposing hydropower dams on their territories gather this weekend in the rainforests of Sarawak, Malaysia, they have good news to celebrate, writes Rod Harbinson: a giant dam on the Baram river has been put on hold. But the forests are still being logged, local people have been stripped of land rights, and a programme of 12 giant dams is still official policy.

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Residents of Prek Smach commune, Kiri Sakor district at a road block they have constructed out of trees and rocks. Botum Sakor national park, Koh Kon Province, Cambodia. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: local people risk everything to defend national park sold off to highest bidders

Rod Harbinson
| 24th March 2015
Botum Sakor national park is one of Cambodia's biodiversity hotspots, where indigenous tribes have long lived in harmony with the forest and its wildlife, writes Rod Harbinson. But now they are being violently evicted as the park is being sold off piecemeal to developers for logging, plantations, casinos and hotels. Now local communities are defending themselves and their land.

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Alex standing in front of a giant tree, one of few remaining in the communal forest area at Tatai Leur in the Cardamom mountain forests. This tree blessing ceremony with villagers and Buddhist monks in 2013 sparked a wave of direct action which led to the

Cambodia expels forest defender

Rod Harbinson
| 9th March 2015
Determined to flood 10,000 hectares of precious rainforest for a power station producing a meager 108MW of power, the Cambodian government has expelled a big 'fishbone in their throat' - eco-defender Alex Gonzalez-Davidson, who has galvanized local and nationwide protests against deforestation, land grabs and official corruption.

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Chong boys playing up a tree by the Areng river. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: indigenous protests repel dam builders - so far

Rod Harbinson
| 28th July 2014
Since the 1980s Cambodia has lost 84% of its primary forests, and the remote Cardamom mountains are the country's last great natural treasure, writes Rod Harbinson. Just the place for grandiose dam projects? 'No way!" say indigenous people and young eco-activists.

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