Cambodian government cancels development of Phnom Tamao forest amid outcry

Cambodia’s prime minister has intervened to stop the destruction of a forest outside the country’s capital, but not before developers managed to clear between 500 and 600 hectares in a week.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has stepped in to cancel all development projects slated for the Phnom Tamao forest, near the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, following months of public condemnation.

The announcement on the morning of Aug. 7 saw work in what remains of the forest snap to a halt, but not before hundreds of hectares of forest had been felled.

Prior to this month, the forest, located 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Phnom Penh, spanned some 2,300 hectares (5,700 acres) and hosted a range of threatened animals, along with the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center.

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