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PM to Designate Phnom Tamao Forest as a Protected Area by Royal Decree

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the Minister of Agriculture to designate the Phnom Tamao forest as a protected forest area by Royal Decree. He has also confirmed that the trees that need to be replanted in the forest will be replaced with rosewood trees.

In an audio message released on Tuesday night, 16 AUgust, Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed that there would be no more encroachment of the Phnom Tamao forest, as he has ordered his bodyguard unit to clean up the area before replanting rosewood trees.

"I have issued an order to the commander of the bodyguard unit, as well as those responsible for planting trees, to turn the cleared area into a tree park or plantation of rosewood trees," he said. "Soon you will see better results.”

Phnom Tamao, located about 40 km from Phnom Penh, has a 400-hectare zoological park, with a total forest land area of 2,300 hectares surrounding the zoo. 1,500 hectares of the forest area was previously handed over for private development.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday, 7 August, announced his decision to cancel all land exchanges and development projects on Phnom Tamao forest land, ordering the companies clearing the forest to replant the trees.

He wrote on his Facebook page, "The land and forest around Phnom Tamao Zoo should be kept protected and conserved by the Ministry of Agriculture.”

He said that this decision was made due there being many requests from people to stop the clearing of forest land in the area. 

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