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Illegal sand mining in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia


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.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Illegal sand mining in Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia
State or province:Koh Kong Province
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

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.

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/10/2009
Company names or state enterprises:L.Y.P. Group Co Ltd (L.Y.P) from Cambodia - controls Koh Kong’s sand sector
Mong Reththy Group (MRG) from Cambodia - Illegal sand exports to Singapore
Government of Singapore, Ministry of National Development from Singapore - Main purchaser of the sand
Relevant government actors:Senator H.E. Ly Yong Phat Senator H.E. Mong Reththy
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Global Witness
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Other Environmental impactsshore receding
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
New legislation
A Ban on Sand exports that is not being enforced
Development of alternatives:Global Witness:
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.
Cambodia’s international donors should disburse funds only after the government achieves reforms for transparent and accountable management of natural resources and their revenues.
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.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Illegal sand mining continues.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ramsar Convention
[click to view]

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

[1] Global Witness report - Shifting sand (2010)
[click to view]

[3] Global Witness 2011
[click to view]

[4] Cambodia Daily News 2013
[click to view]

[2] Phnom Penh Post 2011
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Ecologist 2010
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Jakob Villioth ([email protected])
Last update24/07/2014
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