Protected areas bear the brunt as forest loss continues across Cambodia

In 2023, Cambodia lost forest cover the size of the city of Los Angeles, or 121,000 hectares (300,000 acres), according to new data published by the University of Maryland.

New data published by the University of Maryland on April 4 and available through satellite monitoring platform Global Forest Watch show continued forest loss across Cambodia last year, particularly in areas designated as protected by the Ministry of Environment.

Last year saw 121,000 hectares (300,000 acres) of forest cover, an area the size of the city of Los Angeles, lost across Cambodia. More than 48,000 hectares (119,000 acres) of this was recorded as primary forest, according to Global Forest Watch.

An analysis conducted by Mongabay using the University of Maryland GLAD lab’s data found the majority of forest loss in Cambodia last year occurred inside protected areas. Assessing the loss of forest canopy with a density of 30% or higher, Mongabay found that more than 66,000 hectares (163,000 acres) of forest vanished from Cambodia’s protected areas in 2023.

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