Though the fight to preserve the Prey Lang forest is not an explicitly Communist struggle, it is important to note that the Cambodian masses are responding to the same capitalist dynamics of ecological destruction, exploitation and rural displacement that have sparked revolutionary upsurges in India, Nepal and elsewhere. Not only is the forest a vitally important source of biodiversity, it provides villagers in four Cambodian provinces with food and a way of life. It should also be noted that these struggle over the future of the Prey Lang forest is being carried out, in part, against companies based in revisionist Vietnam.
“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.”
This article originally appeared here.
Cambodians rally as ‘Avatars’ to save one of the region’s last great rainforests
by Jeremy Hance
Two hundred Cambodians rallied in Phnom Penh last week to protest the widespread destruction of one of Southeast Asia’s last intact lowland rainforests, known as Prey Lang. In an effort to gain wider media attention, protestors donned dress and make-up inspired by the James Cameron film, Avatar, which depicts the destruction of a forest and its inhabitants on an alien world. The idea worked as the rally received international attention from Reuters, CNN (i-report), MSNBC, and NPR, among other media outlets. Read the rest of this entry »