Agreement Allows South Korea to Manage Forests

South Korea will manage the replanting of trees on former economic land concessions—with an eye toward eventually entering Cambodia’s logging industry—under a tentative agreement between the two countries, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said on Wednesday.

Mr. Sakhon said the agreement’s goal was to protect forests and combat climate change by allowing South Korea to manage swaths of former land concessions that were returned to the state.

Such concessions faced mounting criticism for causing rampant deforestation and forced evictions.

In 2012, Prime Minister Hun Sen halted them.

About 2 million hectares have since been confiscated, and about 1 million of those have been promised to poor, landless families.

Mr. Sakhon said South Korean businesses intended to use the restored forests to export wood to Europe.

The amount of land that would be managed under the deal will be decided after the National Assembly and Senate approve the proposal, he said.

South Korean officials also promised to open an institute in Cambodia that would provide training on forest management, Mr. Sakhon said.

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