License to Log: Cambodian military facilitates logging on Koh Kong Krao and across the Cardamoms

Cambodia’s largest island, Koh Kong Krao, off its southwest coast, is covered in largely untouched old-growth forest, but recent satellite imagery shows deforestation is spreading.

“I think there’s a 30% chance we’ll have trouble with the police,” said Ly Chandaravuth, an environmental activist with the outlawed group Mother Nature Cambodia.

This was in August 2022, when Mother Nature Cambodia was planning a trip to Koh Kong Krao, an island off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province, to raise awareness about the pristine ecosystems there.

But the group’s activism has had consequences, and Chandaravuth’s calculations, near one-in-three odds of being arrested just for visiting the island, were not unfounded.

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