Construction has begun on a project to build a golf course, a resort and a theme park within Kompong Speu province’s Oral Wildlife Sanctuary, provincial officials said. The plan is moving forward despite worries that the project is infeasible and will prove environmentally devastating.
New Cosmos Development Co Ltd began building a warehouse for construction machinery this week, said Kang Heang, Kompong Speu third deputy governor.
“The company has just started building a warehouse,” Kang Heang said Tuesday. “The machinery has yet to arrive, but it will start operations soon.”
The CDC recently gave the project final approval, and company representatives met with officials from the Environment Ministry and the provincial and district governments on Nov 12, Kompong Speu First Deputy Governor Yim Sokhom said Tuesday.
“The meeting was aimed at announcing the process of the project in order to make the process go smoothly,” he said.
Environmentalists warn the protected area may not support the proposed theme park, resort, luxury housing and golf course, and will hurt the livelihoods of locals, including indigenous Suy minorities.
“We don’t think there is sufficient water supply in that river to supply a golf course,” said Mike Appleton, manager of Flora and Fauna International’s Cardamom Mountains Wildlife Sanctuary Project, which conducts work in Oral Wildlife Sanctuary.
The river, which is used by local communities, nearly dries up during the dry season, he said.
“When we tried to measure the