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Story Publication logo August 31, 2020

Cambodia Burning

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Image by Sean Gallagher. Cambodia, 2020.
English

"Cambodia has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world. In broad swaths of the country...

"Cambodia Burning" title slide. Image by Sean Gallagher. Cambodia, 2020.
Cambodia Burning title slide. Image by Sean Gallagher. Cambodia, 2020.

Using a unique mix of drone cinematography and Cambodian poetry, Sean Gallagher's latest film explores the changes in Cambodia's landscapes, brought about by deforestation and forest fires, and the emotional impact it has had on Cambodian people.

Deforestation has been accelerating across Cambodia and it is estimated that there is only three percent of primary forest left throughout the country. In 2018, fires burnt in record numbers throughout the forests of north and central Cambodia. At their peak during the dry season between January and March, it is estimated up to 1,800 fires were burning in the country, more than in any other country throughout Southeast Asia at that time.

The main drivers behind deforestation in Cambodia are conversion of forest lands for agricultural use and targeted logging of valuable species, such as Rosewood, for Asian furniture markets.

The film has been shortlisted in both the Earth Photo Awards and the Drone Photo Awards in 2020. Click here to learn more about the film and Gallagher's work.

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