Cambodia has one of the worst deforestation rates in the world, which has accelerated with the country's rapid economic development and population growth. Charcoal production in Cambodia alone is responsible for 1.4 million hectares of net forest loss. But weaning Cambodians from wood fuel is no easy task. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 84 percent of the country's population depend on wood fuel as the main source of energy, and 27 percent of Phnom Penh's residents rely primarily on charcoal. As the population of Cambodia grows, the demand for charcoal will also increase, promising many Cambodian families a stable, alluring source of income.


Despite environmental protection policies, Cambodia’s growing economy and population have caused one of the world’s worst rates of deforestation.


May 4, 2012 / Untold Stories
Keyla Beebe
Guilford Student Fellow Keyla Beebe reflects on the killing of Wutty Chut, an environmental activist who opposed deforestation in Cambodia.
April 24, 2012 /
Jennifer McDonald
Ten Pulitzer Center student fellows will report from abroad on topics such as environmental policy in Thailand, health and nutrition in the United Arab Emirates and gender equality in South Africa.