Provincial Officials To Mark Borders Clearly

Battambang and Banteay Mean­­chey provincial authorities agreed Saturday to clearly demarcate the border between the two provinces to prevent land disputes, Prach Chan, the governor of Bat­tambang, said Tuesday.

The border runs through Ban­teay Meanchey’s Malai district and Battambang’s Sampov Loun dis­trict, a heavily forested area that has been subject to land grabbing.

Battambang wants “to clearly se­parate our area and to prevent any anarchic land grabbing,” Prach Chan said by telephone.

The provincial border area is important because it runs through Roniem Daun Sam Sanctuary, a 40,021-hectare area of forest, Prach Chan added.

The sanctuary has been the site of much land grabbing, with people logging the area of luxury timber and establishing farms.

There has been confusion in the past about which parts of the sanctuary along the border belong to which province.

Banteay Meanchey Governor Heng Chantha said the provinces established a joint committee to de­termine which villages belong to which province.

“If we follow the map, some villages are overlapping,” Heng Chan­­­tha said. “We have to separate them clearly in or­der to govern well.”

Police will temporarily control the border area before the land is di­vided, Heng Chantha said.

Prach Chan said the border be­tween Battambang’s Samlot district and Pailin municipality also needs to be demarcated, because of similar problems.

“We will demarcate the boundary dividing Samlot and Pailin in the future because more people are grabbing land there and cutting trees for their farms,” he said.

Large-scale deforestation to clear farmland in the sanctuary is a major problem, said Chhay Yuob, deputy director of the Ministry of En­vironment’s environment de­part­ment.

“We are worried because trees in Roniem Daun Sam are being cut and [loggers] are continuing on a big scale,” Chhay Yuob said.  “We do not know how to stop them.”



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