prom thomacheat
Loggers cutting down protected forest in Kampong Speu's Metta forest, edging closer to a pagoda with a nature-loving monk.

Soldiers’ Forest Clearing Approaches Nature-Loving Monk’s Pagoda

Monks and villagers say that a group of people purportedly hired by the military to cut down Kampong Speu’s Metta forest are continuing to destroy a densely forested area full of wildlife, and are now only about 200 meters from a pagoda inhabited by a nature-protecting monk.

The Venerable Prom Thomacheat carrying food for a resident gibbon in the Metta Forest around his pagoda in Trapeang Chour commune, near the Oral Wildlife Sanctuary in Kampong Speu. (Andrew Haffner/VOD)

Soldiers Accused of Firing Warning Shots at Forest Monk

Kampong Speu’s Metta community forest, home to a monk who has been helping locals protect the woods, is seeing rising violence and clearing by soldiers, including warning shots fired at the monk, residents have alleged.