By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
To Help Kuy People Save Unique Forest in Cambodia ~ @CSORG #indigenous
Kuy People of Cambodia Help us Save Prey Lang ("Our Forest")!
At a demonstration in Phnom Penh, Kuy activist Mao Chanthoeun painted her body like the "avatars" of the James Cameron film. The Kuy people are defending their forest against mining and other destructive practices. Photo by Samrang Pring, Reuters.
This week, while protesters in cities around the world are symbolically occupying Wall Street, Indigenous Kuy people in Cambodia are "occupying" the forest that means life itself to them - Prey Lang ("Our Forest").
Right now, Kuy men, women, and children are holding vigils at sites throughout Prey Lang where bulldozers are slashing the forest to build new roads, rubber plantations, and mines. They are beseeching the invaders to stop their destructive activities and preserve this unique primary forest -- one of the last of its kind remaining on the Indochina peninsula.
For generations, the Kuy people and their neighbors in the villages surrounding
Prey Lang have protected the forest with its sacred areas where spirits dwell and its places
for gathering fruits, medicinal plants, housing
materials, and resin. Their use of forest resources
is sustainable, but now their
Prey Lang forest (top). The forest is clearcut for a rubber plantation (bottom). Photos by Allan Michaud.
livelihoods and the
life of the forest itself are under attack.
The government has issued a dizzying patchwork of concessions to road builders, mining companies, and agro-industries. Bulldozers are slicing huge swaths through the forest, clear-cutting enormous blocks of land for rubber and other plantations and mines. Right now the companies are gearing up for the dry season, their season of forest destruction.
The Kuy people are desperately trying to persuade the government to stop the destruction and allow them to protect and manage Prey Lang, before it is too late.
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Paula Palmer, Director
Global Response Program
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