To reconstruct the history of forest loss in Cambodia, the literature and national/provincial statistics of landuse patterns and the socio-economic situation were investigated. Forest cover in the 1960s was 73.3 % (13.3 Mha). However, this drastically decreased to 47.3% (8.6 Mha) in 2016. In the 1960s, the forest was less-disturbed. From 1970 to 1993, the forest was lost gradually owing to the political instability caused by the Cambodian Civil War. In the post-war reconstruction period from 1993 to around 2002, the need for reconstruction, international demand for timber, and forest logging concessions led to a significant increase in timber production. In the rapid economic growth period from 2002 until present, while several political actions were taken to combat rapid deforestation, economic land concessions, which promoted agro-industrial plantations, as well as small-scale agriculture has been leading to the rapid expansion of arable land and deforestation since 2009.
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Vol. 21 • No. 3