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Chut Wutty's memory spurs anti-logging campaign

Source: BBC News

By Guy De Launey

PHNOM PENH, 12 May 2012 - The death of an environmental activist, shot dead by police, has galvanised his campaign against deforestation and illegal logging in a scenic part of Cambodia.

Ratanakiri is a beautiful province in the north of this country - with volcanic lakes, waterfalls and huge areas of unspoiled forest.

Most of the people who live there belong to indigenous hill tribes who worship spirits in nature.

But peace has brought smooth-surfaced roads and outsiders to rural parts of the country that were once remote.

The hill tribes complain that the newcomers try to trick them out of their traditional lands - and hack down the trees which make up what they call the "spirit forests".

A young man from the Tampeun people told me he knew where loggers were at work - and volunteered to show me. So we jumped into a battered pickup - and slithered along a narrow trail through the forest.

Suddenly we burst out into a clearing. And immediately it seemed that we had made a horrible mistake.

For the complete article, please see BBC News.