Ministry, Forest Patrollers Accuse Each Other of Breaking the Law

The Environment Ministry has accused a forestry patrol group of illegally monitoring a protected forest, drawing criticism from civil society organizations who say the ministry has violated the group’s rights and restricted its conservation efforts.

The Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), an organization of locals who patrol and report on forest crimes in the wildlife sanctuary, canceled their annual conservation event last weekend after several groups attempting to enter the sanctuary, which spans four provinces, were stopped by authorities on Friday.

Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told VOD in a message on Monday that the ministry had repeatedly warned PLCN that it needed to be registered with the Interior Ministry in order to enter the forest.

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