Located between the Mekong and Stung Sen River, nearly half of Prey Lang has never been logged, making it an incredible rarity in Southeast Asia, whose forests, according to Conservation International (CI), are the world's most imperiled
. Tigers, Asian elephants, banteng, gaur, and Asiatic black bears are all still found in the 200,000 hectares of forest. In all up to 50 endangered mammals, birds, and reptiles may live in the forest. In addition to its wildlife, the largely unprotected forest is also home to a quarter of million people who are largely dependent on its renewable resources, many of whom are from the Kuy indigenous group.
Protestor in costume. Photo courtesy of: Prey Lang Network. Still the biodiversity and ecosystem services, including vital watersheds, provided by the forest have not stopped officials from handing out large tracts of the rainforest for clearcutting. Recently, the Cambodian government has granted a concession of over 6,000 hectares to a rubber company. Clearing for biofuels also threatens the forest.
"This bulldozing of the forest is done without any environmental impact assessments," Chet Ton, a community organizer with a local NGO, recently told the Cambodia Daily, "and the companies try to hide [information]."