Reacting to reform: Cambodia’s environment

Cambodia’s new environmental policies are promising, but they also signal a government agenda to consolidate power over the country’s forests, Sarah Milne writes.

In 2016, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a dramatic suite of jurisdictional and policy reforms that will affect how land and forests are governed in Cambodia for decades to come.

Implementation of the reforms is still partial, but we must be aware of their potential effects for people and nature. Close attention must especially be paid to the rights of indigenous people and peasant farmers as the reforms proceed.

A key winner from the recent reforms is the newly empowered Ministry of the Environment, now controlled by a young Australian-educated Excellency, Mr Say Samal.

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