Prey Lang: It's our forest too

Publicado: 26 Octubre 2021
Última edición: 26 Octubre 2021
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PLCN is a network of indigenous communities living in and around the Prey Lang forest. Since 2007 PLCN has advocated against illegal logging and large-scale, government-sanctioned land grabbing on their ancestral lands. With an emphasis on peaceful, non-violent actions, PLCN has engaged civil society, indigenous associations, commune and district authorities, NGOs and research institutions in a joint movement for environmental justice and sustainable development. The core of PLCN’s work is to patrol the forest, document forest crimes and advocate for the long-term protection of Prey Lang. 

PLCN helped developing an app for smartphones, making it easy for local patrols to geo-reference, document, and upload information about forest resources, threatened biodiversity, and illegal activities. The data is used to document the importance of the forest to local livelihoods, international biodiversity conservation, and to report illegal activities to the authorities.


Asia del Este
Sudeste Asiático
Sur de Asia
Scale of implementation
Bosques tropicales de hoja perenne
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas forestales
Piscina, lago, estanque
Río, corriente
Selva baja caducifolia
Acceso y participación en los beneficios
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Ciencia y investigación
Comunicación y divulgación
Conocimientos tradicionales
Fragmentación del hábitat y degradación
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Institucionalización de la biodiversidad
Manejo de bosques
Medios de vida sostenibles
Mitigación del cambio climático
Paz y seguridad humana
Poblaciones indígenas
Salud y bienestar humano
Seguridad alimentaria
Servicios ecosistémicos
World Heritage
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Territorial and spatial development
Calor extremo
Incremento de temperatura
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Fuegos silvestres
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Cacería furtiva
Cosecha insostenible, incluida la sobrepesca
Falta de acceso a financiación a largo plazo
Falta de oportunidades de ingresos alternativos
Extracción de recursos físicos
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Deficiente vigilancia y aplicación de la ley
Falta de infraestructura
Deficiente gobernanza y participación
Falta de seguridad alimentaria
Desempleo / pobreza
Sustainable development goals
ODS 1 - Fin de la pobreza
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
ODS 16 - Paz, justicia e instituciones sólidas
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Aichi targets
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 5: Pérdida de hábitat reducida a la mitad o reducida
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 12: Reducir el riesgo de extinción
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 18: Conocimiento tradicional
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento


Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, Cambodia | Preah Rokar Wildlife Sanctuary, Sorng Rokhavorn Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Tnout Phnom Pok Wildlife Sanctuary
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-Enabling environment

Forest monitoring is primarily restricted by a lack of enabling environment by the government. The shrinking civil space in Cambodia has affected PLCN in a number of ways. Most recently, after publishing the latest report in January 2020, PLCN is banned from entering the forest for patrols and received numerous threats of arrest, giving an incremental raise in logging activities. The extreme amounts of corruption in the country make it hard to with local rangers, that are usually bribed to let illegally logged wood out of Prey Lang.

-Deforestation and illegal logging

The Prey Lang (PL) forest faces illegal logging, forest clearing for agriculture, and land grabbing. As a result of forest conversion and degradation, all larger mammals and birds have become rarer and all valuable timber species have decreased in numbers: a lot of them being listed as endangered species. Economic land concessions adjacent to PL are the main problem as illegal timber is laundered through them.



An estimated 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Kuy, live in and around Prey Lang.  Another 700,000 live within 10 km of the forest and many of them also depend on it for their livelihoods via the local economy

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

Communities are at the core of the action. The rest of the partnership is there to support the needs and the wishes of the communities. The technology part provides the tools that communities need in order to achieve their goals (Ensuring forest protection, raising awareness, informing the general public, enforcing the protected area status and exposing the problems). 

One can imagine the action as three concentric circles: PLCN and communities are in the central circle, supporting local organizations are in the bigger one while international organizations are in the outermost circle enabling the partnership, funding, and data dissemination.  


Regional and local patrols have been conducted with the participation of hundreds of community members. Illegally felled timber has been burned. Chainsaws and other logging equipment have been confiscated, and reports filed. PLCN’s advocacy led to Cambodia’s government drafting a sub-decree to gazette Prey Lang as Protected Forest. PLCN has organized consultations from the village to the national level to inform the process. PLCN has communicated the importance of environmental protection effectively at the national and international levels empowered by the use of smartphones. PLCN has been instrumental in slowing forest destruction in Prey Lang forest, the largest primary lowland evergreen forest in Indochina. The effort made by PLCN to preserve the forest habitat has importance for wildlife protection and environmental conservation for the whole region. PLCN promotes the traditional and sustainable tapping of resin trees, which has been shown to generate income and secure livelihoods locally.
The effort made by PLCN to preserve this large vestige of primary rainforest is an important contribution to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in Cambodia and supports national and international policies to mitigate climate change.



In February 2020, communities intended to enter Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary together with Buddhist monks to perform their annual ceremony: A mix of Buddhist and animist cultures praying and praising the forest and its spirits and conduct a tree-blessing ceremony. Instead, the communities were denied access and threatened with arrest.

Local authorities told them they couldn’t enter because they didn’t have permission from the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, but the communities suspect another reason: 

“If the PLCN goes there, we’ll collect and publish evidence, and then the world would know about the deforestation and destruction happening even in the protected area,” they said.

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Dimitris Argyriou Prey Lang - It's our forest too

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Copenhagen University