On August 22, a Cambodian court found Spanish environmental activist Alejandro-Gonzalez Davidson not guilty of incitement, the default charge for activists in Cambodia. Gonzalez-Davidson was charged with acting as an accomplice to three Cambodians who were arrested for protesting sand dredging in the coastal province of Koh Kong. The practice of extracting sand for export to countries like Singapore for reclamation and construction can have a major impact on marine environments, from destroying mangrove forests to decimating fish populations.
Encouraged by the Colombian peace process promising infrastructure advancement across the country, local citizens and municipal governments have started construction to expand the road to Miraflores, Colombia. The 138-kilometer road was carved illegally through rainforest and used by the FARC rebel group to transport coca, from which cocaine is produced. Conservationists argue that the road widening threatens the Nukak community, who have lost their sacred territories used to hunt and fish.
A new report from U.S.-based environmental group Forest Trends has found that land concessions for large-scale agricultural plantations, mainly producing rubber, sugar, pulp, and paper, are removing key forest coverage in Cambodia. The authors found that by the end of 2013, 2.6 million hectares (14%) of Cambodia's land had been allocated for commercial agriculture. Weak regulatory enforcement has provided logging companies with opportunities to conduct operations outside the borders of officially granted economic land concession areas.