Non-government groups working in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday said illegal logging across the province’s northern forests was still rife, a day after former Environment Minister Mok Mareth called reports of such activity exaggerated. After weeks of media reports that illegal logging in the northeastern province’s protected forests was on the rise, Mr. Mareth, a lawmaker for the ruling CPP, issued an open letter to say that the reports had “twisted the truth.” He specifically insisted that agri-business firms operating inside Ratanakkiri’s 333,000-hectare Virachey National Park were doing no harm and in fact helping the area’s indigenous ethnic minority
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