Cambodia

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 guard admires a rainforest vista near Elephant Valley. Photo: William F. Laurance.

Cambodia's 'Elephant Valley' brings new hope to a last precious rainforest

William Laurance
| 24th October 2015
An initiative to re-home abused, over-worked domestic elephants is supporting the conservation of one of Cambodia's last and most species-rich rainforests, writes William Laurance. Growing ecotourism in the area, attracted by the elephants, is engaging indigenous communities in forest protection and helping to stave off the pressure from loggers and plantations.

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A reclusive Irawaddy dolphin on the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Death by strangulation? Hydropower threatens to kill the mighty Mekong

Tom Fawthrop
| 27th March 2015
Over 18 million people live off the natural bounty of the The Mekong Delta, writes Tom Fawthrop - the source of huge annual harvests of fish, rice, fruit, and one of the world's most productive ecosystems. But now huge dams threaten to strangle the Mekong river and the abundant life it supports, while the world sits idly by.

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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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Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova
| 23rd July 2014
Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover.

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Prey Long Network discover a cache of illegally cut resin trees in Prey Long forest. Photo: Vanessa de Smet 2012

Forest communities fight Cambodia's rosewood bandits

Fran Lambrick
| 15th May 2014
Cambodia's rainforests are facing destruction from clearance for plantations, and an illegal trade in precious timber, reports Fran Lambrick. Local people who depend on the forest have proved to be its most effective guardians - but they need external support.

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Police block a recent garment workers' protest in Phnom Penh. The police officer is holding a tear gas launcher. Photo: Luc Forsyth via Flickr.com.

Blood on our clothes

Alessandra Mezzadri
| 8th January 2014
Four protestors have been shot in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where hundreds of thousands garment workers are protesting against unfair working conditions. Alessandra Mezzadri reports ...

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Khone-Phapheng Falls. Photo: hiroo yamagata via flikr.com.

The Mekong must run free!

Tom Fawthrop
| 14th December 2013
The Mekong is among Southeast Asia's greatest rivers, sustaining tens of millions from its abundant fisheries and its floodwaters which both irrigate and fertilise. But as Tom Fawthrop reports, Nature's bounty, and beauty, are at risk from a series of 11 dams.

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Tourist boats and seals on a Galapagos beach

Saving our heritage... from ourselves

Eifion Rees
| 25th June 2009
More sites may be added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Danger this week, but how effective is this register of global hot spots, and what are the areas that truly deserve international protection?

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