Last update:
2014-06-20

Pheapimex-Fuchan conflict, Cambodia

Description:

In 2000, Pheapimex attempted to start operations in an area of 6800 ha in Ansa Chambak. However, the inhabitants were successful in halting the conversion of their forest. Resistance involved road blockades, filing lawsuits and challenging the government. Between 2001 and 2004, Pheapimex carried out no further work on site and the threat of the eucalypt plantation appeared to have receded. In 2004, however, hundreds of workers and heavy equipment arrived in Ansa Chambak and proceeded to bulldoze the forest, establish a tree nursery, and extend a road network in the forest area. The people of Ansa Chambak attempted to stop the operations. Several hundred villagers demonstrated along highway 5. In order to prevent the bulldozers from entering the concession area, villagers decided to organize a watch of the machinery. Someone threw a grenade into a group of sleeping villagers, injuring eight of them. The government’s immediate response was to announce the temporary suspension of the company’s activities until the outstanding problems were solved. The next day, authorities organised a meeting and made several promises to local inhabitants. Most of the promises were not kept and the company, after a week of inactivity, resumed its operations. The day after the attack, local police, without producing any supporting evidence, accused the villagers of throwing the grenade at themselves.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pheapimex-Fuchan conflict, Cambodia
Country:Cambodia
State or province:Pursat province
Location of conflict:Ansa Chambak
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:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Eucalyptus
Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:6800
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:several hundreds
Start of the conflict:2000
End of the conflict:2005
Company names or state enterprises:Pheapimex Group from Cambodia
Pheapimex-Fuchan from China
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:support of local NGOs
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Project temporarily suspended
- Project continued.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project continued.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

World Rainforest Movement (WRM), 2005. The death of the forest: a report on Wuzhishan’s and Green Rich’s tree plantation activities in Cambodia. Montevideo: WRM.
[click to view]

Cambodia's Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, by Joel Brinkle

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Timber Giant Plans Clearing for Plantation
[click to view]

Cambodia: Eucalyptus plantations and pulp production threaten forests and rivers
[click to view]

Other comments:The WRM reference contains the best material available. But data more recent than 2005 are needed!
Meta information
Contributor:J.-F. Gerber
Last update20/06/2014
Comments
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