Land and Environment
Sean Bopha of Comped explains the composting process and how it could be expanded throughout Cambodia, in Battambang on November 6, 2020. (Gerald Flynn/VOD)

As Trash Woes Pile Up, Community Efforts Fill In the Gaps

From organized volunteer cleanups to commercialized plastics recycling, community efforts dotted across Cambodia seek solutions to the 4 million tons of waste produced annually, which is filling up volatile dumpsites and soiling the natural environment.

An edjai scours Battambang’s landfill for salvageable goods, on November 6, 2020. (Gerald Flynn/VOD)

Scavengers: An Overlooked Backbone of Cambodia’s Waste Management

Analysis of the edjais and their impact on waste management throughout Cambodia is limited, but their haphazard scavenging for valuable waste buttresses the country’s waste management, says Kathrin Eitel, a research associate and anthropologist working with the University of Frankfurt.

Tractors are used for pumping water from a drying reservoir in Kampong Cham province’s Batheay district on December 29, 2020. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Signs of Drought Arrive Months Early in a Kampong Cham Commune

For farmers in the area, there’s little hope for this year’s dry-season rice harvest. They irrigate in desperation, but they can already see there won’t be enough water. They are bracing to write off their crops, fall deeper into debt, and maybe lose their land, several said this week.

The Laos-Cambodia transmission line’s planned path through the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. Orange dots mark deforestation in 2019 and 2020 detected by the University of Maryland's Global Land Analysis and Discovery. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Power Line to Cut Through Prey Lang, Troubling Conservation Partners

Cambodia’s state electricity provider is pushing ahead with the construction of a transmission line through the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, a plan that has caused concerns for representatives of three multimillion-dollar conservation projects as well as officials in the environment and forestry ministries.

Ream National Park (Wikimedia Commons)

Tracts of National Park, Disputed Area Privatized in Preah Sihanouk

The government has granted nearly 200 hectares of Ream National Park and flooded forest land that a local official said was disputed in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nob district to companies and private individuals, to the surprise of two commune officials.

Sran Lanj, who became the leader of the Old Kbal Romeas community after the community was flooded and split, in her kitchen in Stung Treng province on September 22, 2020. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Indigenous Residents at Sesan Dam Prepare for New Fight

Bunong villagers flushed out by Sesan dam floodwaters have been taking boats to visit ancestral grounds, wading through clusters of dying trees that were not adapted to survive permanent floods. They are now bracing for a new fight as a rubber company eyes their refuge on higher ground.

Landfill at the Khun Sea satellite city development site in Akrei Khsat commune in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district on November 17, 2020. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Mekong Landfilling Progresses for 70-Hectare Shopping, Condo Complex

The infilling of 70 hectares of the Mekong River across from Phnom Penh is nearly complete, residents say, as the Kandal provincial governor touts the “development potential” of the oknha’s project that he says will soon sway any unhappy locals.

Northern red muntjac, seen in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in 2020. (Toeu Bann/Wildlife Conservation Society)

Four Large Mammals at Risk of Disappearing Within Years: Wildlife Report

A conservation organization recorded sharp declines in banteng, gaur and other species of land-dwelling hooved mammals in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary over a 10-year biodiversity study, suggesting four animals are at risk of disappearing from the protected area within a few years — like tigers and wild water buffalo before them.