Cambodia: Prey lang community alleges that a Korean-owned Think Biotech (Cambodia) harvests timber illegally; but the company denies

Author: Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 9 January 2019

"‘Defamed’ Korean company denies Prey Lang illegal logging claims", 8 January 2019

The Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) has alleged that Korean-owned Think Biotech (Cambodia) Co Ltd is illegally harvesting timber from resin trees in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. But a company representative refuted the claim…

Kheng Kho, a PLCN representative in Stung Treng province, told … that Think Biotech has been logging the villagers’ resin trees in O’Lang village and at other locations in the wildlife sanctuary…

A Prey Lang representative from Kratie province, Phay Bunleang, said Think Biotech has been logging the community’s resin trees extensively since 2012 after its 34,000ha reforestation project in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces…

Bunleang spoke … after returning from a three-day patrol with rangers from Friday to Sunday in Sambor district’s Vattanak commune.

He said that during their patrol, they witnessed Think Biotech tractors transporting timber from Prey Lang forest in Stung Treng to the company’s land…

Bunleang claimed that the reforestation agreement between Think Biotech and the government required the company to fell resin trees on community land, but the company denied it…

Chea refuted the allegation, saying that the company respects the reforestation policy agreed with the government to ensure forest sustainability.

“Our company harvests the forest in areas defined by the government. We pay taxes to the state in accordance with the amount of timber and the species we harvest,” he said…

Kratie provincial environment department director Duong Chhay Savuth said the timber was logged within the limits of the reforestation project and that the company had not interfered with the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary…

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesman Srey Vuthy said according to the agreement, the company is permitted to harvest the forest within the project’s boundaries as defined in the master plan…

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Related companies: Hanwha Think Biotech (Cambodia)