Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest

by Peace Bridges Organization
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
Equip Cambodians with Tech to Protect Their Forest
A recent patrol (Photo courtesy of the PLCN)
A recent patrol (Photo courtesy of the PLCN)

This year the PLCN have continued to document incidents of illegal logging in Prey Lang despite numerous obstacles. These obstacles have included the pandemic, COVID-19 restrictions, and a Ministry of Environment ban on patrols.

In the last quarter of 2021, the network used their smartphones to make 459 entries into the database, which revealed an increase in illegal logging activity. They also documented the forest's biodiversity, including plant species and animal footprints.

You can read more about their recent activities and see satellite maps of the deforestation in the PLCN Quarterly Report, which is linked below.

The PLCN thanks their supporters and wishes everyone a safe holiday season.



Beautiful tree found on patrol (From PLCN Report)
Beautiful tree found on patrol (From PLCN Report)

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PLCN members documented 10 transport vehicles
PLCN members documented 10 transport vehicles

According to monitoring groups, illegal logging has escalated since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The government has continued its pattern of intimidating and restricting individuals who are involved in forest protection efforts. During these months, the Prey Lang Community Network has gone on patrols whenever possible. In and around Prey Lang, they have documented logging as well as used satellite data to build their growing body of evidence. 

In a patrol update on his Facebook page, PLCN member Sopheap wrote,

“Despite the threat of COVID-19 and our fear of it, the Kampong Thom PLCN group went into the forest for two days and nights to document the activities of illegal logging.”

Sopheap reported that from the 19th to 21st of August they saw ten transportation vehicles moving timber out of the forest on the road that goes by the environmental authority’s office. Sopheap reported that they saw no interventions by the authorities. Their group documented the activity with their smartphones and uploaded the data to the cloud. 

The PLCN thanks you for your ongoing support and hope you stay healthy and safe.

The PLCN have continued to patrol despite COVID-19
The PLCN have continued to patrol despite COVID-19

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Photo from PLCN Facebook Page
Photo from PLCN Facebook Page

The years 2020 and 2021 are not looking good for deforestation in Cambodia, according to the University of Maryland Global Forest Change dataset. Meanwhile, the PLCN who are committed to patroling and protecting it have been banned from entering the forest since 2020.Recent COVID-19 lockdown measures have also made it difficult to do their important work. 

"We are going to lose it if we don't have people to protect the forests. We love these forests, which belong to not only the government but to us," said Sok Phloak, a PLCN representatitve. 

Challenges being what they are, the PLCN is doing their best to keep an eye on the forest and document illegal logging. They have conducted patrols around the perimeter of Prey Lang and confiscated wood and chainsaws. These smartphone photos are evidence of the ongoing deforestation that is denied by officials. The PLCN post these photos on Facebook to show the public what is happening. 

The PLCN wishes to thank the people who are supporting their work, both within Cambodia and abroad. 

Stay well, 

The PLCN and Peace Bridges

Illegally logged wood (Photo from PLCN).
Illegally logged wood (Photo from PLCN).
PLCN Members on Patrol (PLCN Photo)
PLCN Members on Patrol (PLCN Photo)

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PLCN continue to patrol the perimeter of Prey Lang
PLCN continue to patrol the perimeter of Prey Lang

Greetings friends and supporters!

It continues to be difficult to patrol and protect the Prey Lang forest. Members of the network are not allowed to patrol inside the forest, so they have taken to patrolling the perimeter. In these patrols, the PLCN continues to document instances of illegal logging. Most often they find people transporting timber from the forest by boat and tractor. 

Equipped with smartphones, the PLCN is able to document these cases and show the evidence to authorities and the public. Without this tool, they would be unable to prove that illegal logging continues unabated. 

The PLCN is grateful to its supporters and will continue to do all they can to protect Prey Lang. 

Stay healthy and safe.

 

(All photos taken by members of the PLCN) 

Logs found near the edge of Prey Lang.
Logs found near the edge of Prey Lang.
On patrol near Prey Lang.
On patrol near Prey Lang.

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Felled trees documented on recent patrol
Felled trees documented on recent patrol

During the past months, members of the Prey Lang Community Network have continued to document evidence of widespread illegal logging in the Prey Lang forest. Day and night, they see people transporting timber out of the forest, even being so bold as to travel by the homes of PLCN members. Additionally, PLCN members have documented many new logging operations inside and surrounding Prey Lang. 

The Prey Lang Community Network is deeply concerned that the deforestation will continue without more cooperation and action by all relevant authorities.

For now, the PLCN will continue to do what it can to document all illegal activities, evidence of climate change, and the forest’s biodiversity. They will continue to advocate for the protection of the forest. If you wish to see more photos from their forest patrol, check out the PLCN Facebook page.

Several new mini documentaries about deforestation in Cambodia are out and available here and here.

Thank you for your support.

PLCN members document logging with GPS devices.
PLCN members document logging with GPS devices.
While on patrol, PLCN members camp in the forest.
While on patrol, PLCN members camp in the forest.

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Organization Information

Peace Bridges Organization

Location: Phnom Penh - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Audrey Thill
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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