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Tree Devotees
<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

Sacred Or Sacrificial: Cambodia’s Cardamom Forest Under Attack

Buddhist monks pit prayer against Cambodia’s desperate power needs and China’s profit motive.


<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

An eco-warrior monk movement – activist students, farmers and villagers united behind monks who try to protect areas of forest, blessing trees to deter would-be loggers – has begun in Cambodia’s Central Cardamom Protected Forest.

<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

Reflecting during the first ‘tree ordination’ in a forest on the edge of Ta Tay Leu village. The monks were too late to save the smaller trees.

<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

Cambodian Buddhist monks and local people bless remaining trees – those too big for the loggers’ machinery – by wrapping orange cloth around them and praying. A proposed dam in the area would flood nine Khmer Daeum villages and their ancestral farmlands and ‘spirit forests’ and forcibly displace more than 900 villagers.

<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

A poorly implemented Government project to give people land titles has led to massive deforestation as people claim areas of forest as their own, chopping down trees in favour of plantations. The monk movement aims to slow the forest destruction.

<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

Children play among the felled trees in the Areng valley, which is at risk of being flooded by the 108 megawatt Stung Cheay Areng Dam.

<p>Luke Duggleby</p>

Luke Duggleby

A young girl in a party dress holds a baby Siamese crocodile in a village in the Areng Valley, where a family of Siamese crocodiles have been kept for protection after the nest was found in the wild and successfully hatched here. The British conservation group Fauna and Flora International says the proposed dam would destroy critical habitat for these and 30 other endangered animal species.

5 comments on this story
by Gail Abbott

Sadly this story is not unique ... the slow and apparently inevitable destruction of the planet's biodiversity is repeated around the globe. The reasons for it are multiple: population increase, the consequent need for intensified agriculture production, the spread of settlement, the wish for development in poor countries, climate change, and - yes - economic ambition (perhaps greed). What are we to do? Even National Parks are not immune from a watering down of protective legislation, and their capacity for managing environmental threats is limited by the resources allocated. What are the prospects for private foundations (such as Bush Heritage in Australia?) Are the refugia they create secure and sufficient? Are there any such initiatives in developing countries?

May 25, 2013 @ 1:18pm
by linjellet

Humans unfortunately are only interested in themselves, graft, greed and corruption = destruction of anything that gets in the way!

June 6, 2013 @ 9:07am
Show previous 2 comments
by Roger

Lot of people in the world

October 16, 2013 @ 8:07pm
by Richard Peters

As a former Investigative Journalist I am well aware of the situation in Ta Tai, where one of my friends has invested a lot of money in a resort, but unfortunately the big nations try to bully and exploit poor little countries no matter how much destruction and hardship they cause. The UN or a similar body should be given power and money to step in when it is clear to all that such actions are to the long term detriment of a country, as sometimes some corrupt government officials often cannot be relied upon. Sadly, there is plenty of money available to fight wars for financial gain, but none spent on the welfare of the local populations, who are disadvantaged the most.

January 30, 2014 @ 8:37pm
by Joseph boyle

I always refer to the CREE Indian prophecy hanging in my office which gives the true value of living. Only after the last tree has been cut down,Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. Hopefully some of the greedy in society will get the feeling that money is not all that tasteful when there is nothing else left .

January 31, 2014 @ 8:00am
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