Koh Kong Sea-Filling Development Is Permitted: Official

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Koh Kong Provincial Hall. (Koh Kong provincial administration Facebook page)
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Koh Kong provincial authorities said sand-filling, clearing mangroves and constructing buildings in part of the sea in Sre Ambel district had official permission to proceed despite an outpouring of concern on social media.

This week, social media users raised concerns upon seeing the construction in the sea in Chi Khor Krom commune, asking why authorities were not stopping it.

Koh Kong deputy provincial governor Sok Sothy told VOD on Friday that this construction was legal, as it had been privatized from a protected area in March 2021.

“This is land that the government cut off with sub-decree No. 30 for people to own, and in some places he is building a dock and doing other things,” Sothy said.

A seven-minute video clip online on Wednesday showed heavy machinery clearing large areas of mangrove forest and filling the sea with sand.

Human rights group Adhoc’s Koh Kong provincial coordinator Thong Chandara said he was concerned that the loss of marine natural resources was increasing, and both local and national authorities should monitor the situation closely and take strict legal action against any violations.

There should be heightened scrutiny against any potential corruption, Chandara said.

“Authorities must actively inspect this case and prevent any acts that are involved with corruption in relation to marine resource crimes.”

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