Illegal sand mining in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">In May 2009 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a ban on sand exports with the objective of improving regulation of the sector and ensuring environmental protection.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Most of the sand is exported to Singapore which is expanding its coastline with irresponsibly dredged sand from Cambodia, according to a recent report that highlights how the city state of 4.9 million people has expanded its surface area from 582 sq km in the 1960s, to 710 sq km in 2008, an increase of 22%, and it has ambitious plans to reclaim further land from the sea with the sand sometimes being sourced from eco-systems at risk. <br/><br/>Evidence collected by Global Witness during 2009 and 2010 [1] shows that the inter-ministerial committee tasked with implementing this regulation has continued to approve licences for the exploitation of sea and river sand export, while also failing to ensure compliance with Cambodia’s other environmental and socio-economic legal frameworks.<br/><br/>Communities in Koh Kong and Kampot have reported that dredging and transportation of sand has reduced fish stocks and devastated harvests of swimming crabs. They had not been consulted by the companies before they began operations, nor had they been informed by local authorities that dredging licences had been issued.<br/><br/>In October 2009 approximately 300 community representatives from affected villages travelled to the Provincial Hall with a written complaint and a petition of over 1,000 signatures requesting that the dredging be halted. <br/><br/>On 5 November members of the National Assembly wrote to H.E. Lim Kean Hour, Minister for Water Resources and Meteorology on behalf of 1,229 households in this same area asking him to intervene to address the negative impacts of dredging.<br/><br/>Provincial authorities promised they would resolve these problems, but by mid-January 2010 media articles reported that nothing had improved.<br/><br/>Illegal sand mining activities in the area are also a threat to Koh Kong’s mangrove forests which are protected under their status as the Koh Kapik and Associated Islets Ramsar Site and the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary.<br/><br/>They are considered some of the most pristine mangrove forests in Asia and play a critical role in providing a nutrient source for coastal fisheries, as a nursery and feeding ground for invertebrate species and protect the estuary against erosion and storm damage.<br/><br/>In July 2011 Prime Minister Hun Sen promised to review the environmental impacts of sand-dredging on the country's coastline [2,3].<br/><br/>Yet, the ransacking of Cambodia's coastlines and rivers is still continuing [4] at the expense of the communities that depend on them.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Illegal sand mining in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/cambodia">Cambodia</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Koh Kong Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/sand-gravel'>Sand, gravel</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The government of Singapore reported to the United Nations Statistics Division Commodity Trade Statistics Database (UN Comtrade) that it imported 3.8 million tonnes of sand from Cambodia in 2008; equivalent statistics from Cambodia for sand exports from all provinces are not available on the UN Comtrade website.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Calculations made by Global Witness [1], based on the best available sources (due to the lack of public information on actual trade), however, estimate the total quantity of sand extracted and exported for the three concessions to be approximately 796,000 tonnes each month (300,000 tonnes for L.Y.P. Group, 379,000 tonnes for Mong Reththy Group and 117,000 tonnes for Udom Seima).<br/><br/>In Singapore, the government agency JTC purchases sea sand from intermediary companies for approximately US$26 per ton. The trade from Koh Kong province would be valued in Singapore at approximately US$20 million each month; this equates to US$248 million per annum.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>01/10/2009</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/lyp-group-co-ltd-lyp-group'>L.Y.P. Group Co Ltd <small>(L.Y.P)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/cambodia'><small>Cambodia</small></a> - <small>controls Koh Kong’s sand sector </small><br /><a href='/company/mong-reththy-group'>Mong Reththy Group <small>(MRG)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/cambodia'><small>Cambodia</small></a> - <small>Illegal sand exports to Singapore</small><br /><a href='/company/government-of-singapore-ministry-of-national-development'>Government of Singapore, Ministry of National Development</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/singapore'><small>Singapore</small></a> - <small>Main purchaser of the sand</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Senator H.E. Ly Yong Phat Senator H.E. Mong Reththy<br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Global Witness</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Fishermen<br /> International ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>shore receding</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Corruption<br /> New legislation<br /> A Ban on Sand exports that is not being enforced</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Global Witness:<br/><br/>The government of Cambodia should immediately suspend all export-orientated sand exploitation activities. Review all licences in accordance with Cambodian law, through an independent working group representing involved ministries and affected communities. Conduct a full review of the legal framework governing the exploitation of sand, including environmental regulations. Adopt the Precautionary Principle as the basis for managing natural resource exploitation. Provide compensation to the local people affected by sand dredging activities, in accordance with Cambodian national law and international best practice.<br/><br/>Cambodia’s international donors should disburse funds only after the government achieves reforms for transparent and accountable management of natural resources and their revenues.<br/><br/>The government of Singapore should suspend all imports of sand from Cambodia and put in place guidelines for sustainable sourcing of raw materials from outside of its national boundaries, which are in compliance with international industry dredging best practice guidelines.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Illegal sand mining continues.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Ramsar Convention<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> [1] Global Witness report - Shifting sand (2010)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [3] Global Witness 2011<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [4] Cambodia Daily News 2013<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [2] Phnom Penh Post 2011<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Ecologist 2010<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Sand mining2</strong> Dredging operations in the L.Y.P. Group’s concession area on the Koh Por river (November 2009).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Sand mining1</strong> Dredging operations taking place right beside Koh Kong’s protected mangrove forests and within the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary (November 2009).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Jakob Villioth ([email protected])</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>24/07/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>