Press Release / Aug. 1, 2003

Global Witness in Cambodia

Global Witness in Cambodia

Global Witness(1) is committed to continuing its work in Cambodia. Despite the Cambodian Government’s termination of our role as official Independent Monitor of the forest sector(2), we will carry on working to help eliminate illegal logging, to improve governance and to increase transparency and accountability in the forest sector. Global Witness’ aim is to ensure that Cambodia’s forests are managed for the benefit of all, not just a powerful few.

To this end, Global Witness will continue to engage in the forest reform process, and to lobby the Royal Government of Cambodia and the international community to ensure that reforms of the forest sector are carried forward and fully implemented. Global Witness will continue to investigate and expose forest crimes and instances of corruption and bad practice in the forest sector; evidence will be made available to the relevant government authorities, the new monitor3 and to the public.

Global Witness intends to retain its in-country operations formerly dedicated to Independent Monitoring and these will be integrated into the Global Witness Cambodia Forests Campaign, which has been running since 1995. The centre of our campaign activities will be our office in Phnom Penh.

Global Witness Ltd, PO Box 6042, London N19 5WP, UK
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7272 6731; Fax: + 44 (0)20 7272 9425
Email: [email protected]; Internet:
PO Box 501, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel/Fax: + 855 2321 9478

Notes to editors:

1. Global Witness is a London based non-governmental organisation that focuses on the role that natural resources play in funding conflict and facilitating corruption. It alerted the world to the issue of conflict diamonds in 1998 and has since campaigned for controls to counter the problem. Its other campaigns have included successfully cutting off funding to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia by exposing their multi million dollar illegal trade in timber; working to increase fiscal transparency in the oil trade due its negative impact on regional development and campaigning for targeted timber sanctions against the Liberian logging industry for funding regional conflict and instability.

2. Global Witness began working as official independent monitor of forestry in Cambodia in 1999 as part of an international donor-funded Forest Crimes Monitoring and Reporting Project. This independent monitoring role formed one part of the Forest Crime Monitoring Unit, which was also made up of inspection teams from the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, who are responsible for monitoring forest crimes in production forest and the Ministry of Environment, who are responsible for monitoring forest crimes in protected areas. As independent monitor, Global Witness’s role was to monitor the performance of the above agencies.

3. The new monitor does not have guaranteed right of access to government or company documents relating to the forests sector. The reporting of forest crimes has not been incorporated into the terms of reference for the new monitor. All reports produced by the new monitor must be verified completely by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s concerned agencies; the new monitor is not independent.

The Cambodian Government terminated Global Witness’s role as Independent Monitor on 22nd April 2003. For further details, please go to: