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Illegal logging and ‘timber laundering’ in Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia

Corruption and illegal practises under the Economic Land Concessions scheme of the Cambodian government


The Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Ratankiri province, Cambodia, covers 250,000ha (1) of originally old-growth forests, home to rich biodiversity, providing crucial livelihood resources to surrounding villages, inhabited by Lao ethnic minorities, among others.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Illegal logging and ‘timber laundering’ in Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia
State or province:Ratanakiri province
Location of conflict:Lumphat district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Logging and non timber extraction
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is protected under the 1993 Royal Decree on Protected Areas, and covers 250,000ha (1).

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Type of populationRural
Affected Population:600 directly affected through loss of forest livelihood resources
Start of the conflict:14/03/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) (HAGL) from Vietnam - rubber, forestry, agro-industry, property development
Hoang Anh Andong Meas Co. from Cambodia - rubber, forestry, logging
Hoang Anh Lumphat Co. from Cambodia - rubber, forestry, logging
Daunh Penh Agrico Co. from Cambodia - forestry, logging, agro-business
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ADHOC Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association
Birdlife International Cambodia
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:Villagers and local NGOs request an investigation of illegal logging.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Illegal logging goes on.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

(2) 2005 Cambodian Subdecree on Economic Land Concessions (ELC)
[click to view]

Law on protected areas in Cambodia
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

(4) Global Witness 2013: Rubber Barons - how Vietnamese Companies and International Financiers are driving a land grabbing Crisis in Cambodia and Laos.
[click to view]

(7) Global Witness 2015. The Cost of Luxury: Cambodia's illegal trade in precious wood with China.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(3) LICADHO: The Great Cambodian Giveaway - interactive ELC Map (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(5) Phnom Penh Post article (17.11.2013): "Wildlife Sanctuary Illegally logged" (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(6) Phnom Penh Post article (25.04.2013) "Forest razed to tune $100 million" (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(8) Phnom Penh Post article (11.04.13) "Sanctuary ravaged for timber: rights groups" (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(9) Phnom Penh Post article (02.02.2015) "Timber found in sanctuary" (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(10) Phnom Penh Post article (26.04.2015) "Sanctuary 'protected'"(accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(11) Phnom Penh Post article (31.01.2014) "Sanctuary bridge 'torched'" (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

(1) Open Development Cambodia: Protected Areas (accessed 19/02/2015)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB) / arnim.scheidel "at"
Last update24/02/2015
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