Cambodia’s forests are being felled at a shocking rate, as poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade in rare wood species, which is being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.
The Aoral Wildlife Sanctuary in Kampong Speu province is just a three-hour drive from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. But the scenery here couldn’t be more different than in the sprawling metropolis — even a military outpost in the reserve is peaceful and picturesque. A traditional stilt house has hammocks, chickens and ice-cold beer. Outside, a few soldiers are playing pétanque as a black pig snuffles the earth.
But behind this idyllic scene in the Cardamom Mountains, a billion-dollar black market is thriving. Continue reading “Corruption fueling deforestation in Cambodia: poachers and corrupt officials profit from the black market trade, being exported to Vietnam — and beyond.”