Land and Environment
Development on the Boeng Tompun wetlands, in a E.U. Sentinel satellite photo from February 19, 2021.

UN Raises ‘Serious Concerns’ Over Lake Project, Gov’t Offers Response

A major Phnom Penh lake development involving several oknha and senators threatens livelihoods and wetlands, as well as rivers with sewage contamination, and puts 1 million people at risk of flooding, the U.N. said in a letter to the Cambodian government — which in turn responded with seven pages summarizing assessments of the development.

A handful of protesters gather at a land dispute site in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district on January 25, 2021. (Mech Dara/VOD)

Villagers Press Authorities Over Land Bordering Police Chief, Senator

Villagers occupying state land on a Mekong river island in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district are refusing to back down amid confrontations and negotiations with authorities, pointing to nearby mansions and land claimed by a senator and police chief who aren’t getting similarly harassed.

Officers outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 26, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

General, Defense Official Clash in Court Over Land Sale to Lawmaker

An under-investigation military general and a Defense Ministry official are battling in court over a plot of land in Phnom Penh that the official allegedly acquired through a proxy to sell to a ruling party lawmaker despite it already belonging to the general.

Environmentalist Ouch Leng at the Kratie provincial environment department on February 6, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

After Release, Ouch Leng Alleges He Saw Convoys Taking Prey Lang Wood

An award-winning environmentalist detained over the weekend said upon his release that he had seen about 100 tractors carting wood away from the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary — a claim rejected by local environment authorities and a nearby reforestation project as lacking in evidence.

Community fishery patrollers drive back to Kampong Kbeung village in a modified boat confiscated from illegal fishers that is now used by the patrol team. An increasing number of illegal fishers are modifying the hulls of their boats so that they can outpace the community patrol boats. (Andy Ball)

On Patrol, a Mekong Village Tackles Electric Fishing Scourge

Volunteer community patrollers along the Mekong aim to stop a rise in illegal electric fishing, which harms river ecosystems and livelihoods that rely on protected fisheries. But the sale of outlawed gear allows the dangerous practice to continue.

Environmentalist Ouch Leng at the Kratie provincial environment department on February 6, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Ouch Leng Released as Villager Tells of Putting Banners in Forest

Five detained forestry activists, including Goldman Prize-winning Ouch Leng, were released on Monday morning after days of questioning. A local villager told of entering the Prey Lang sanctuary with the group on Friday to put up banners saying “Please preserve our forests.”