Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, recently announced that he would allow the destruction of 7,100 hectares of the Mabira Forest to make way for sugarcane plantations. If REDD is to mean anything in Uganda, it has to provide some sort of mechanism for preventing this sort of destruction. So far, there is no sign that this is the case.
On 1 February 2011, Cambodia’s prime minister, Hun Sen, awarded two concessions covering a total area of 18,855 hectares for conversion to rubber plantations. No surprises there, then. Hun Sen’s government awards land concessions on an astonishingly regular basis. But these two concessions are perhaps a little more surprising because they are inside a national park.
“Forests under Threat,” was the title of a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post. It’s a good article, but the headline could have been this year’s entry for the Basil Fawlty Award for stating the bleeding obvious. Cambodia’s forests, what’s left of them after years of destructive logging (legal and illegal), industrial agrobusiness and mining concessions, are among the most threatened on the planet.