By Rob Harbison on Nonviolent Conflict

July 28, 2014

Since the 1980s, Cambodia has lost 84 percent of its primary forests and the remote Cardamom mountains are the country’s last great treasure. Indigenous people and eco-activists are now protesting a grandiose dam project proposed by the government. A protest camp hurriedly set up in March to stop Chinese dam builders from starting construction has been successful at repelling them on several occasions, and the effort is attracting youth groups and monks. Building of another dam has been carried out in secrecy at a high security Chinese compound off limits to most Cambodians and foreigners.

“Many forests are destroyed in Cambodia – Areng is the last of our great forest areas”, says Sothea Khmer a women’s activist from Phnom Penh, explaining why she is here at the road blockade protest camp:

“We want to stop the Chinese company here. We don’t want them to bring their machinery here to cut the trees, build a dam or dig mines in the Areng valley. The commitment from youth and monks joining us is that they have to stop the company. So they will dedicate their lives here.”

Read the rest of the article here.