Cambodia: where saving the forests is a matter of life and death

“After the murders, not many people dared to go inside the jungle,” Ouch Leng writes in an email.

In 2016, Leng won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his fearless work bringing to light the defoliation and deforestation of his native Cambodia, a country which has lost more than 75 per cent of its forest cover to logging over the last three decades. The trade in Cambodia’s timber is one that has generated countless billions of dollars, but all too often that money ends up in the pockets of kleptocratic tycoons, corrupt army generals and straight-up criminals. Those who pay the ultimate price are Cambodia’s forest dwellers and environmental activists who find themselves dispossessed, robbed of their livelihoods, and sometimes even murdered.

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