Governing Cambodia’s Forests: The International Politics of Policy Reform

$45.00 SGD

by Andrew Cock

The widespread destruction of Cambodia’s forests in recent decades saw the loss of the last major area of pristine tropical forest in Southeast Asia. The proceeds of often indiscriminate logging and sale of forest and plantation concessions have enriched the country’s ruling elite but cost its rural population dearly. It was, moreover, a process in which foreign aid donors were deeply involved, even if the outcome was contrary to their intentions. The tragedy of Cambodia’s forests has received much international publicity from environmental NGOs like Global Witness, quoted above, but far less scholarly treatment. That deficiency is now addressed by this detailed and sophisticated case study of how externally sponsored reform agendas can be manipulated by domestic elites. It offers a powerful critique of ideas of 'ownership’ as well as a clear and persuasive argument why forestry protection programmes so often fail within the modern international system. The book will appeal to people interested in political change in contemporary Southeast Asia, the politics of foreign aid, and those concerned with the conservation of the world’s remaining tropical forests.

"In this well documented, closely argued, passionate and often poignant book, Andrew Cock draws on his own experience to document the ways in which high-minded Western inter-governmental organizations in Cambodia in the 1990s and beyond inadvertently helped predatory officials and institutions to open the kingdom’s forests to uncontrolled logging and degradation. In the process, local people suffered enormously and deforestation has dealt savage blows to Cambodia’s ecological well-being. This highly recommended study has alarming global implications." ~ David Chandler, Monash University

Andrew Cock, a specialist on political economy, is a visiting fellow at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan and an affiliate of the School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Australia. He has long been engaged in the situation in Cambodia and lived in the country between 1999 and 2004.

Publication year: 2015
322 pp / 229mm x 152mm
8 tables, 2 figures
ISBN: 978-87-7694-167-3, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-166-6, Hardback

NIAS Press