Hill-tribe villagers in Preah Vihear are asking a logging concession in the area not to cut down trees they have traditionally used for harvesting resin.
An official from an NGO, which he asked not be named, said 200 families have petitioned the Cambodia Cherna Plywood company not to cut trees in the Tbeng Meanchey and Chhep districts.
The villagers, who say they have met with the company three times this year, have sent complaints to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly asking them to solve the problem, the official said.
“Logging in the area is like destroying their rice pots because their resin-producing trees will be gone,” he said.
The resin extracted from trees is used in boat-building and as a lacquer. It is often sold and traded by the villagers.
Chernda Plywood officials could not be reached for comment. A staff member said company officials were in the field.
Deputy Forestry Director Chea Sam Ang said last week that Chernda Plywood has permission to cut trees in the two districts as part of its harvesting plan for this year, but has not done so yet because of bad weather.
Russell Peterson, representative for NGO Forum, an umbrella group of NGOs, said logging in the area could significantly harm the villagers ability to make money. “NGOs are concerned about the impact of the forest concession on local livelihoods,” he said, adding that NGOs would like to have the government allow villagers subsistence use of the forest.