Endangered wildlife face perilous future as vital habitat loses protection in Cambodia

In 2017, an elephant in Cambodia’s Kirium National Park was electrocuted as it leaned against power lines in a formerly forested area. This wasn’t an isolated incident—another elephant reportedly died in the same manner the previous year— and prompted conservationists to point to the widening imbalance between the need for development and conservation in Cambodia.

In March 2021, this imbalance has widened into a chasm as Cambodia’s government signed Sub-decree No. 30 into law, effectively revoking protection from some 127,000 hectares of land in reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the southern province of Koh Kong.

This transformation of public, protected land into state-private land was ostensibly done to provide land titles to rural residents. However, a 2021 Mongabay investigation revealed that a group of land brokers with connections to Defense Minister Tea Banh and his brother Tea Vinh were buying up vast swathes of land degazetted by the sub-decree.

In full: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/02/endangered-wildlife-face-perilous-future-as-vital-habitat-loses-protection-in-cambodia/

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