Gov’t, USAID Criticized for Inaction Over Severe Forest Loss at Prey Lang Sanctuary

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen released an open letter Thursday reporting a 73 percent increase in deforestation in 2019 at the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, compared to 2018, while criticizing the government’s ban on certain patrolling operations.

The University of Copenhagen’s open letter used data from the University of Maryland’s Global Forest Change dataset and other data points to show that 7,510 hectares of forestland were lost at the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary in 2019, the worst loss since 2016 when the area was designated a protected area.

“We hope that the attached documentation of forest loss will be well received and help the Ministry in Environment and their partners in the protection of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary for the sake of all Cambodians,” said Ida Theilade, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.

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