Trees: Can they be saved? (23 December)
Attacks on the Forests Continue (24 November)
Attacks on the Forests Again (8 November)
Poachers Get Away with It (17 July )
Picking the Best? (11 July)
Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary (29 June)
Earth Day (22 April )
Emerald Triangle Project (19 February)
The Museum's Biggest Attraction? (25 January)
23 December 2002
Trees: Can they be saved?
One of the most popular temple ruins (of more than 200) at Angkor Wat is Ta Prohm, famous for its huge trees that have grown around, over, and through the massive stone temple walls. The trees are beautiful and romantic, a vivid reminder of how the jungle reclaimed the Angkor Wat temples for hundreds of years before they were rediscovered. But now the trees are causing cracks and the collapse of the walls of Ta Prohm and other temples, and some architects say that the trees must go, that preserving the temple culture ranks higher than retaining the poetry of the trees. Conversationists, though, argue just as adamantly that the trees are now part of the temple and must be preserved.
24 November 2002
Earlier this month, the government relaxed regulatory controls on the companies which have received logging concessions from the Department of Forestry. A requirement that companies prepare a five-year plan for sustainable cutting of timber was dropped. A requirement for a twenty-five year plan was maintained, but now the government's official forest monitor, Global Watch, is preparing comments that the logging companies have made up data on the social and environmental costs of logging. A study three years ago by the Asian Development Bank said that the forests were so depleted then that commercial logging was viable for only a few more years. But now the companies with the concessions have put forth plans for long-range cutting that are quite unrealistic. For Global Watch, the implication is that somebody is lying and the group feels that the poor state of Cambodia's forests and the poor behavior of the logging companies justifies the cancellation of all forest concessions.
Attacks on the Forests Continue
8 November 2002
Attacks on the Forests Again
NGO forestry experts have sharply criticized the Cambodian government for two recent decisions which undermine the government's own forestry program. First the director-general of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife dropped the requirement that logging companies have an approved five-year plan. This is necessary to keep them from logging the best lumber in a tract and then walking away, with no care or concern for sustainable forestry. The same official also said that the period for reviewing the Forest Management Plans would be only two weeks long. Advisors hired by the donor countries had recommended six months to analyze the thousands of pages contained in the management plans.
17 July 2002
Poachers Get Away with It
Recently two elephants were killed in Cambodia's jungle, one of them one of the few remaining Cambodian elephants that still had tusks. Wildlife officials saw the poachers--armed with AK-47s and a rocket launcher--standing over one of the dead elephants, but the officials are too frightened to arrest or even confront the poachers for fear of being shot themselves.
11 July 2002
Picking the Best?
The Director of Cambodia's Department of Forestry and Wildlife recently nominated two logging companies for an international environmental award for "exemplary forest management." Both companies have been criticized for illegal logging, prompting the government's independent forestry monitor, Global Witness, to write to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (the sponsor of the awards) in Bangkok to urge that neither company receive any award. "Global Witness has documented evidence of illegal logging by both companies in recent years," noted the letter, adding that "Clearly, the Director of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife...has a very short memory."
29 June 2002
The entire Cardamom Mountain region of Cambodia was declared a wildlife sanctuary this week by the Council of Ministers. Covering more than 1 million hectares of pristine wilderness, it becomes the largest wildlife sanctuary in Southeast Asia. The hope is that the new, strict regulations on logging will protect some of the world's most endangered species, including Siamese crocodiles, Indo-Chinese tigers, and rare gibbon species. This area was occupied by the Khmer Rouge prior to 1998 and was considered too dangerous to enter. However, since that time illegal logging and poaching have quickly developed as real threats to the wildlife and the environment. It remains to be seen whether the cancellation of the logging concessions in the area and the new regulations will be enforced.
Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary
22 April 2002
Greetings for the International Earth Day.
This is a time to remind ourselves about our Earth and how our lives have been affected due to our neglect of our environment, eg. pollution, water shortages, and degradation of farmland. It never too late to start healing and preserving our natural environment that sustains us all and to prevent injustice and human rights violation caused by abusing the environment that is supposed to be shared equally by all on earth.
On the occasion of the Earth Day, 22 April, we forward to you AIF(11), an appeal request by the Earth Day Network, to all Heads of Government to secure the well-being of their citizens by preserving the natural systems that sustains all.
One way to show concern to our Earth is to be more aware of it. Some information on Earth Concerns and possible action for sustainable environment, is available in the Library of our web site www.acpp.org . New articles and links have been added. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Regards, ACPP-Hotline Asia
Request of Earth Day Network for the World Summit 2002
APPEAL TO HEADS OF GOVERNMENT
As you are aware, the World Summit on Sustainable Development is of critical importance to the future of our planet. To help make the summit a success, please sign this appeal to world leaders urging them to attend.
Dear Heads of Government,
We, the undersigned citizens and groups, call on you to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in August - September 2002. The World Summit will mark the tenth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit - the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. At the Earth Summit, world leaders agreed to a set of principles for meeting our needs without compromising the needs of future generations.
Ten years later, those principles for sustainable development remain largely unfulfilled. Issues such as biodiversity loss, deforestation, climate change, and extinction of species are damaging our priceless ecological resources. Human health is at risk worldwide due to pollution, water shortages, and degradation of farmland. In addition, a growing gap separates developing and developed nations, and a significant percentage of the world's people live in poverty.
We cannot afford another decade of insufficient action. Now, more than ever before, there is a great need to foster a spirit of global partnership. As your nation's leader, you hold a position of responsibility, both to your own citizens and to the global community. Securing the well-being of your own citizens goes hand in hand with preserving the natural systems that sustain us all.
The World Summit offers us a rare opportunity to build international momentum for a sustainable future, in the twenty-first century and beyond. We urge you to attend the summit and implement a strong follow-up plan of action for your country.
ENDORSE THIS LETTER
1. Email email@example.com and write: "World Summit signature" in the subject line,
2. and in the text of the email include your organization's name
3. Or sign this letter on the internet at www.earthday.net
4. Please encourage other groups and members of your organization to sign on.
5. Or fax this letter with your signature and organization name to  (206) 876-2015
Earth Day Network
811 First Ave, Suite 454
Seattle, WA 98104
19 February 2002
The governments of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand are proposing a large-scale development project in the area where the three countries have common borders. The centerpiece of this Emerald Triangle Project would be a large golf course. There are some serious drawbacks to the proposal, however. One is that it is located in an area heavily mined from the conflict in the 1980s between the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese-backed Hun Sen government of Cambodia. De-mining would be a huge effort, and all the existing de-mining groups are prohibited from such an involvement because their mandates limit them to humanitarian work. Another drawback is that part of the project would fall in a national park preserve in Cambodia. Still, the ministers involved are pursuing their plans. In a rather strange statement, one newspaper recently concluded an article on the project with the assertion: "All three ministers agreed in principle that the area where so many died would be a good place to play golf."
Emerald Triangle Project
25 January 2002
Every night at dusk, an estimated one to two million bats swarm from their roosting place under the roof of Phnom Penh's National Museum to feed on insects before returning before dawn. They devour an estimated 17 tons of bugs a night but the downside is they also leave behind a ton of droppings inside the museum each month, fouling the colonial-era building and seriously damaging the artworks preserved there. Attempts to rid the building of the bats have been only half-hearted, partly because the museum staff get $250 a month for the guano, a major supplement to their meagre salaries.
The Museum's Biggest Attraction?