Virachey National Park is one of Cambodia’s pristine conservation areas and one of only two Association of South East Asian Nations Heritage Parks in Cambodia. Despite being isolated and largely unexplored, it has also been plagued by illegal logging for decades. After significant damage from illegal logging was discovered by the World Bank and global non-governmental organizations in 2004, Cambodian agencies mounted a concerted effort to prosecute illegal loggers with international assistance. The Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Environment, which were responsible for forests, collaborated formally and informally with the Ministries of Interior, Justice, and Defense. In addition, Cambodian officials enlisted the assistance of peers in Laos and Viet Nam. In the end, 11 police officers and government officials were convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. In addition, seven officials, including the governor of one of the largest provinces in Cambodia, were each sentenced in absentia to six to seven years in jail. But in 2008, the World Bank and major international non-governmental organizations pulled out of the Virachey effort. Since then, illegal logging has reached new heights.
Lao People's Democratic Republic