Prey Lang Community Network

Newsletter November 2017 
This newsletter present to you the latest news about PLCN's efforts to save the Prey Lang forest. Here we share updates on PLCN's patrols and other activities, recent national developments and new scientific research within the field. 
PLCN: Fewer Recordings of Illegal Logging in Prey Lang

Photo: PLCN 

New data from the Prey Lang Community Network suggests that there might be fewer illegal logging activities in Prey Lang. From August 2016 to February 2017, PLCN recorded 65 percent less illegal activities in Prey Lang, than in the same period last year.

However, illegal logging activities in Prey Lang have not completely ceased: PLCN recorded in average 72 illegal logging activities each month.

This data is presented in PLCN’s latest report on illegal logging in the Prey Lang forest. The report analyses data collected by the network with smartphones in the specially designed Prey Lang app between August 2016 and February 2017.

PLCN improves data gathering

The report also shows, how PLCN has improved their abilities to collect data not only on illegal activities, but also on how the forest is a valuable natural resource for the communities living around Prey Lang. Out of a little more than a thousand data entries registered in the Prey Lang app, 52 percent of the entries were categorized as natural resources such as animals, medicinal plants and rare tree species. Illegal logging activities, such as transport of illegal wood, meetings with illegal loggers and stumps of valuable trees found in the forest, accounted for 41 percent of the data entries.

The report also states, that PLCN members now collect data on Prey Lang more effectively. When PLCN started to use the Prey Lang app to monitor the forest in 2015, only 145 data entries per month were validated. Now, 235 entries are validated each month.

Illegal logging in Prey Lang continues

Despite these positive results, PLCN’s findings of an average of 72 illegal logging activities monthly clearly show that illegal logging continues in Prey Lang. In the report, PLCN therefore states the following:

“We, Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), would like to express our deep concerns at the ongoing illegal logging in Prey Lang, despite the designation of Prey Lang as a Wildlife Sanctuary. We monitor the forest on a regular basis and collect information on illegal activities. We have noticed that illegal logging has decreased in the past months but we are still encountering many illegal loggers when conducting patrols in Prey Lang.

PLCN therefore strongly encourages the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to ensure that no further illegal logging takes place in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.”

PLCN Member Injured by Boar

Photo: Phnom Penh Post - PLCN Member Roeung Run

Every week PLCN members put their lives at risk to save the forest, while patrolling in Prey Lang. Last week 27-year old PLCN member Roeung Run was attacked and severely injured by a wild boar while patrolling a community forest in Kratie’s Sambor district.

Another PLCN member states to the Phnom Penh Post how the wild boar might have felt threatened by Roeung Run because it had been injured by a snare and that might have caused it to attack.

Roeung Run is currently in the hospital and his condition has improved according to Kea Hong, director of the Kratie Provincial Referral Hospital.

Local Climate Changes: Kratie Province

PLCN: Second from the left Mr. Song Sway, Core Croup member of PLCN

In the coming month we will focus on how people in the communities in and around Prey Lang are affected by climate change. We do this, as we are approaching the climate summit COP23 in Bonn, Germany, taking place in November 2017.

The following interview with Mr. Song Svay concerns the local effects of climate change in his community in Sambor district, Kratie Province.

Where do you see climate changes in your local community?

I see changes all over Kratie Province. Especially the weather is changing rapidly these years. Sometimes we have so much rain, and other times we are experiencing massive droughts. The rain doesn’t come as regularly as is used to.  Adding to that, we experience periods with heavy winds – winds that destroys our houses as well as our trees.

What are your concerns for the future in terms of the climate changes you see?

My big concern regarding the future relates to our ability to produce our crops. The changes in weather with irregular flood and drought can destroy our rice fields. In this way, our income and living standards will be affected by the changing weather. I am highly concerned for the well-being of my family and friends – we will all be affected by the climate change the coming years.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope that everybody, not only the government, but all of us, together can fight for our nature and to stop cutting down trees. I hope that the government alongside NGO’s will be able to raise awareness about the problem and I hope they will focus on us, the local people. I also hope that they will spread our word, not only on a national level, but also international, so that we can all fight for a better nature in the future.

In your opinion – what does it take to change this? And who is responsible for changing it?

Again, I would like to point out, that this something, that all of us is responsible for. Not only a few individuals, but all of us. We need to start to fight together for a better future for our nature. We end up destroying our forest and cause heavy rainfalls, droughts and storms, simply because the local people do not understand, how the nature works and how the climate change is related to what happens to our forests. Everybody is ultimately responsible – but, I also think that the leaders of this country have a responsibility to spark this change.

2016 A Bad Year for Cambodian Forests

Photo: Phnom Penh Post


Cambodian forests were cut down in 2016 at a rate 30 percent higher than in 2015, new data shows. Out of the 16 years in which deforestation have been recorded in Cambodia, last year was the fourth. In total, around 200.000 hectares of forest were lost in the Kingdom in 2016.

The data, which was released by the University of Maryland, uses satellite images to track the forest density of forests all over the world. In Cambodia, the satellite images show extensive development in forest loss, especially in the forests located in the northeast part of the country. This includes the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. The northeastern part of Cambodia has been a conduit for illegal exports of timber to Vietnam in the recent years, according to several reports.

This development is not surprising news to the Prey Lang Community Network, who is witnessing the rapid forest loss in Prey Lang. In period from April 2016 – February 2017, 83 entries per month, related to illegal logging activities was registered by PLCN on patrols inside the Prey Lang forest.

Minister of Environment, Say Samal, questioned the new data in a comment to the Phnom Penh Post. He said that the data did not match the Ministry’s official data on forest loss in Cambodia.

 © Prey Lang Community Network

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Prey Lang Community Network · 81a street 456 · Sangkat Toul Tompoung I · Phnum Penh 13253 · Cambodia

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