Press Release / March 6, 1997

Global Witness welcomes IMF decision

Global Witness today welcomed the IMF's decision to resume aid to Cambodia, but urged the RGC, the IMF and the other donors to remain vigilant.

"We feel that the RGC has made genuine efforts to implement forestry legislation, we recognised it and we are glad that the IMF has done the same," said Patrick Alley of Global Witness. "We hope the IMF's conditions reinforce the existing export legislation, and continue to exclude the Thai loggers."

In its recently released briefing document A Tug of War.... Global Witness highlighted that illegal logging was still rampant in Cambodia, and is still a cause for major concern. "But there is cause for optimism," said Global Witness' Charmian Gooch, "The RGC has largely managed to close its borders to logs. If it starts to control the illegal timber trade in Cambodia then it should earn the trust of the donors, but if the situation doesn't improve then maybe the IMF should review its decision."

Cambodia and Thailand will discuss trade issues in Chiang Mai in March, and the logging issue is likely to feature on the agenda. "Thailand must finally make a genuine effort to cooperate with the RGC to ensure that the border remains closed. If it doesn't, Thailand will be undermining its neighbour, the IMF and the entire donor community" said Alley.