ERJ staff report (TP)
Washington DC – The World Bank’s ombudsman office says it will assess a complaint from indigenous groups in Ratanakiri province (northeast Cambodia) that a bank-supported company has damaged the forest and surrounding communities, reported Sok Khemara for Voice of America (Khmer).
The bank’s office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) issued a letter to the complainants 24 February, saying it has determined the complaints eligible for assessment and will now work with them to clarify issues raised and help them determine how to proceed.
Seventeen different groups joined in the complaint, claiming the Hoang Anh Gia Lai rubber company, which receives financing from the bank’s International Finance Corporation, had destroyed forestry lands affecting as many as 2,000 families.
Eang Vuthy, executive director for Equitable Cambodia, an organisation helping the indigenous groups with the process, said the CAO will mediate the issues with concerned communities, the company and authorities.
Megan MacInnes, a campaigner for the environmental watchdog Global Witness, urged the company to cooperate with the process. Hoang Anh Gia Lai has “devastated” the livelihoods of the complainants, she said. “The CAO has the power to give them the chance to get justice.”
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Full story from Voice of America (Khmer)