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Project March 8, 2022

Power, Profits, and Patronage: Cambodian Elites Plunder the Cardamoms

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The Cardamom Mountains region remains one of the few intact ecosystems in Southeast Asia, but questionable development projects established by extractive patronage networks in Cambodia threaten to fracture the forest to feed economic development, and could be fueling an illicit wood trade.

Working with Mongabay, freelance journalist Gerald Flynn uses extensive on-the-ground reporting, coupled with GIS mapping, financial relationship charting, and satellite imagery assessments to highlight the damage done by various economic sectors in Cambodia and the people seeking to plunder the country’s last, best rainforest. While promising few positives for local communities, the projects slated to carve up the Cardamoms look set to benefit a network of powerful Cambodian and foreign nationals, at the cost of widespread environmental devastation.

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Four lines of rainforest foliage in differing shades of green. Text: Rainforest Investigations Network

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Rainforest Investigations Network

Rainforest Investigations Network