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Cambodia - Essay Example

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There are numerous environmental problems that affect the state of Cambodia. Soil degradation, air and water pollution, pesticide misuse, overpopulation, wildlife extinction, threatened biodiversity and deforestation: these are all significant problems in Cambodia…
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One of Cambodia's major natural resources is its forests, but illegal logging has severely hurt this industry. Both the environmental groups Global Witness and Friends of the Earth have collected videotape testimony of logging officials admitting to the illegal exportation of timber. Vietnam stated that the government "firmly respects the forestry policy of Cambodia and has advised all provinces and competent authorities to carry out the Vietnamese Prime Minister's order to ban logging exports to Vietnam." (Vietnamese 'Furniture' Plundered from Cambodian Forests, p.2).
The issue of deforestation in Cambodia is a major one, not only because of the fact that their forests are one of their major natural resources, but also because the act of deforestation takes away from another problem they are experiencing, which is wildlife extinction. Many measures have been taken in an attempt to at least cut down the element of deforestation, considering how terribly damaging it is to Cambodia as a whole. In February of 1999, the Prime Minister of Cambodia even tried to pass measures to crack down on illegal logging, and as well he asked for donors to give money in order to help protect the forests. "But despite the measures taken and an estimated 1.3 billion dollars in aid, Global Witness says that the illegal logging and exportation continue." (Leggett, n.d.).
The root cause of the deforestation which is taking place in Cambodia seems most likely to consist of many elements. Not only a combination of governmental mismanagement and corruption and economic development, but also the ever-widening gap between classes continue to cause deforestation across Cambodia. The significance of forests both for their natural resources as well as for their innate beauty continues to decline, and environmental protection remains undervalued. Although there is not one sole cause, the element of guerilla factions can for the most part be considered as the root cause of Cambodia's deforestation. In regards to these guerilla factions, we are speaking namely of the Party of Democratic Kampuchea or Khmer Rouge. "During the Cambodian conflict, guerilla factions and the State of Cambodia used logging to finance their war efforts. The SOC exported timber to Thailand. Thailand depended on neighboring countries like Cambodia for timber as it had to adhere to a 1989 logging ban." (Think Quest, 2005).
Another major environmental problem in Cambodia is that of their wildlife extinction dilemma. This issue includes the wildlife of many different species, including the freshwater dolphin. Wildlife preservation officials are extremely worried that Cambodia's rare freshwater dolphin species will be extinct in the next 10 years; with most of these dolphins dying in fishing nets. Studies have shown that an estimated 10 dolphin calves are born a year, but Fisheries Department data shows that 14 died in 2003, 18 in 2004 and 13 in 2005. Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Thong Khon said the ministry has begun patrols along the river and is further investigating the reasons behind the deaths of the dolphins to prevent their extinctions.
Hunting is widely considered to be the greatest immediate threat to wildlife in the Dry Forests, as well as throughout the rest of Cambodia. Although people primarily hunt for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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