Groups ‘appalled’ after ministry bars conservationists from protecting forests

NGOs on Tuesday criticized the Environment Ministry for its actions to block community members from entering the Prey Lang protected forests.

“Masked armed rangers” prevented Prey Lang Community Network members from conducting an annual tree-blessing ceremony over the weekend, according to a joint statement by 103 communities and organizations.

In a Facebook post on Feb. 22, the ministry accused the network of “illegal acts” and “documenting exaggerated reports,” claiming that protected areas require permission from authorities to access.

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