Dear Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen,
I am deeply concerned that Cambodia has lost almost all of its primary forests. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, primary forests covered 70 percent of Cambodia’s land mass just 40 years ago. Tragically, these magnificent forests have shrunk to only 3.1 percent of the nation’s territory today. One of the remaining forests, Prey Lang, is in danger of being lost as more and more concessions are granted to agro-industries and mining companies.
Prey Lang’s rich store of biological diversity, unique on the Indochina peninsula, is reason enough to protect it. But there are other reasons, as well. Over 200,000 people depend on the forest as a source of fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, housing materials, clean drinking water, fish, and resin. Prey Lang provides ecological services that benefit millions of people, serving as a vital source of water for Cambodia’s rice-growing region and for the Mekong Delta.
I am very glad to know that the people who live in villages surrounding Prey Lang have banded together to save the forest. Many of these people are Indigenous Kuy, whose rights are specified in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As an endorser of the Declaration, Cambodia acknowledges Indigenous Peoples’ right to free, prior, and informed consent for projects that affect their lands and livelihoods, yet the Kuy have not been consulted concerning concessions in and surrounding Prey Lang. Indeed, they have clearly demonstrated their opposition to the concessions through public protests and petitions.
As a supporter of environmental protection and Indigenous Peoples’ rights, I join the Prey Lang Network in urging you to cancel existing land concessions and other development projects in the greater Prey Lang area, ban new concessions, and create a sustainable management program with the permanent participation of the Prey Lang Network.
Thank you for considering the views of the international community, recognizing our common commitment to environmental protection and human rights.
Personal, mailed letters have the most impact. Click here to download the above letter, or use our guide to write your own!
The Prey Lang Community Network asks us to address hardcopy letters to Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and mail them to the Cambodian Embassy in Washington DC. Also send your letter by email and fax if you can. Send copies to the officials listed and also to Cultural Survival.
If you write a personal letter, please:
Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen
c/o The Royal Embassy of Cambodia
4530 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011 USA
Fax to Embassy in USA: 202-726-8381
Fax to Cambodia: +(855) 23 212 409
H.E. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forests, and Fisheries
Fax: +(855) 23 217320 / 215982
H.E. Dr. Mok Mareth, Minister of Environment
H.E. Suy Sem, Minister of Industry, Mines and Energ
H.E. Lim Kean Hor, Minister of Water Resources & Meteorology
Fax: (303) 449-9794
U.S. postage is 44 cents.
A model letter is available for download as PDF and Word Doc below.
Personal, mailed letters have the most impact!
Thank you for joining this campaign.
The Kuy people say, Uhk hoo-ey (“Thank you!”).
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