Prey Lang network wins Equator Prize

Members of Prey Lang Community Network inspect illegal timber last year after it was discovered during a patrol.
Members of Prey Lang Community Network inspect illegal timber last year after it was discovered during a patrol. Heng Chivoan

The Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) has been selected as a winner of the Equator Prize 2015, with representatives of the organisation set to receive the award in December during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The group was one of just 21 winners selected from almost 1,500 nominations for the award, which is overseen by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and seeks to highlight “outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives that are advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities”.

The winners were announced yesterday during a press conference at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Each will receive $10,000 to assist their work.

The PLCN was nominated by the University of Copenhagen, which has supported the group’s work in recent years.

“[The $10,000] will allow us to continue our work against illegal logging and deforestation.

But what makes us even happier and very proud is the recognition from such an important global player as the UNDP. This proves that our work as a grassroots watchdog is important,” PLCN spokesperson Sokheng Seng said in a statement.

Since its being established in 2007, PLCN volunteers have organised numerous patrols in which they have seized illegal timber and confronted loggers in Prey Lang Forest, which sprawls through five provinces in northern Cambodia.