At long last the film REDD in Prey Long is finished and off to Copenhagen for the climate change talks. I still have to produce the Khmer version which will be available in the next few weeks.
Thanks to the generosity to several filmmakers in Denmark I was able to include some wonderful footage from the arctic to make this possibly my best work yet. Hopefully it will have the desired effect in Copenhagen because the planet dearly needs some real action on deforestation.
For me personally one of the biggest problems right now is the insanity involving bio-fuels. Here in Cambodia I have seen a slow and steady decline in forest cover since 2001, however in the past 18 months the destruction has rapidly increased as people clear huge areas of primary forest to grow crops for ethanol production and other bio-fuels. Cassava, palm oil and sugar cane plantations have sprung up across the country and add to the destruction of forests across asia and beyond in the name of being “green”.
Cutting rain forests to produce bio-fuel seems ridiculous to me and much of it appears to due to huge subsidies offered for bio-fuel production by governments around the world. If this continues we will have no forests left at all, this is simply not sustainable. I for one hope that this issue is addressed on a global scale in Copenhagen. Brazil has taken a large step recently to ban the clearing of forest for bio-fuels, only existing agricultural land will be used in the future. The trouble is they seem to be on their own with this, countries like Cambodia, who may well suffer badly from global warming due to rising sea levels, are now pursuing bio-fuel dollars on a huge scale. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been hard at it clearing forests for bio-fuels for many years already, this has to stop.
Huge areas of forest have been clear cut for growing Cassava in the past 2 years, yet now the price of Cassava has plummeted making these crops almost worthless… and of course these forests will not grow back.
Cambodia may be a small country yet it still has very significant areas of forest remaining. Today “economic land concessions” are filling the void of the previously cancelled logging concessions and accelerating the destruction of Cambodia’s forests.