Natural resources, energy and environment
Timber is Cambodia's most important natural
resource, but the forest industry has serious problems.
Most of the electricity is generated in hydropower
plants. However, the power shortage is large and power
outages are common.
A large part of the logging is done illegally and the
forests are usually shredded without new trees being
planted. The gains from the devastation go down into the
pockets of local and military rulers.
Major exports by Cambodia with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
The only minerals extracted to any great extent are
phosphates, which are used for fertilizers. The
previously large occurrences of sapphires and rubies are
now believed to be almost exhausted. Iron, manganese and
bauxite deposits exist but are not being exploited due
to poor transport opportunities.
In Siamviken, both oil and natural gas have been
found and foreign companies have been granted the rights
to mine deposits. No significant production has yet
begun, partly because of a protracted conflict with
Thailand over rights.
The most important energy source is firewood. Almost
all other energy must be imported, mainly in the form of
oil and natural gas. Electricity must also be imported,
from Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Cambodia, however, has
great potential for hydroelectric extraction and
extensive expansion is ongoing. In 2014, hydropower
accounted for just over 60 percent of electricity
production, a sharp increase compared to just over 4 per
cent in 2011 when oil accounted for over 90 percent. In
2014, around a tenth of the electricity was extracted
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Environmental experts have warned of negative
environmental effects of the power plant initiative, as
well as threatening the living conditions of the local
population such as fishing.
Almost half of the population does not have access to
electricity and the existing electricity distribution
systems are in great need of repair.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
415 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
270 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
6 685 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.4 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
64.9 percent (2015)
Rainsy is sentenced to prison
CNRP President Sam Rainsy, who is in exile in France, is sentenced in his
absence by a Cambodian court to five years in prison for a Facebook post written
by another person. The post touches on the delicate issue of the border crossing
between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Life sentences against Chea and Samphan stand firm
The Red Khmer Tribunal rejects Nuon Chea's and Khieu Samphan's appeals for
the life sentences they were both sentenced for, among other things, crimes
against humanity during the Red Khmer terrorist regime 1975-1979 (see Political
CNRP ends boycott of parliament
CNRP ends the boycott of the work of the National Assembly. It is reportedly
done after strong pressure from Hun Sen. The boycott began in September of the
same year when CNRP's Vice President Kem Sokha was imprisoned (see
Senator is jailed for defamation by Hun Sen
Opposition politician and Senator Thak Lany is sentenced to 18 months in
prison for defaming Hun Sen. She is alleged to have claimed in a video that Hun
Sen arranged the assassination of regime critic Kem Ley in July of that year.
Lany is believed to have moved abroad and was sentenced in his absence. The many
cases against opposites are considered to be linked to the fact that general
elections will be held in 2018. A former soldier has been charged with the
murder of Kem Ley.
Opposition Senator Prison
An opposition senator is sentenced to seven years in prison for publishing
fake documents in social media about disputed border violations against Vietnam.
Opposition politicians are often accused by the government of trying to whip up
anti-Vietnamese sentiment in order to undermine Hun Sen's position. Hun Sen has
a good relationship with Vietnam's political leaders. In October, the same court
sentenced an opposition MP to 2.5 years in prison for posting fake maps of
disputed areas on Facebook.
CNRP leaders sentenced to prison
Kem Sokha, vice president of CNRP, is sentenced to five months in prison for
refusing to appear in court in connection with an alleged sex scandal. Kem Sokha
is sentenced after a day's trial, which receives criticism from human rights
organizations who believe the case is one in the line of defeat against the
opposition with a view to securing a electoral victory for CPP 2018. In protest
against the verdict, CNRP initiates a boycott of the work of the National
Regime critics are shot to death
Government-critical grassroots activist Kem Ley is shot dead in Phnom Penh.
According to police, he was shot down at a gas station after a quarrel about
money. Thousands of followers follow the car with the dead body on its way to
one of the city's pagodas.
Three opposition prisoners
A local court sentenced three members of the CNRP Youth Federation to seven
years in prison each. They are being sentenced for attempted riots in connection
with the election-related violence in July 2014. Previously, eleven opposites
have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for the same crime (see
A man left in Australian refugee program
Another Iranian man in the Australian-Cambodian refugee program leaves
Cambodia. Remains only one asylum seeker, a man from the Muslim minority
rohingya in Myanmar (formerly Burma). He is stateless and therefore has no
homeland to return to.
New loans from the World Bank
The World Bank grants Cambodia new loans for the equivalent of $ 130 million.
It is the first time since 2011 that the international lending institution
grants new loans to Cambodia. The reason for the five-year halt was that the
World Bank reacted to the relocation of about 4,000 families from a sea beach in
Phnom Penh. The families were forced to relocate when the government leased the
land to a private company - led by a CPP politician - who exploited the area.
New laws for trade union activities
Parliament adopts new laws for the labor market that critics consider to
limit trade union activities in the textile industry and limit the number of
trade unions; The laws mean, among other things, that unions must report their
finances to the authorities every year. In Cambodia there are about 3,400 trade
unions. The textile industry has around 700,000 employees, most of them women.
Two asylum seekers return home
A woman and a man from Iran return to their home country from Cambodia, where
they were moved in accordance with an agreement with Australia. Remaining in
Cambodia, there are two refugees who were moved there through the agreement with
Hun Sen replaces ministers
Prime Minister Hun Sen announces that he intends to implement a major
government reform. Eight of 27 ministers will be replaced, including Foreign
Minister Hor Namhong, who is one of Hun Sens's closest allies. The reason for
the remodeling is that the work must be streamlined. Assessors believe that the
ministerial changes are intended to attract young voters in the local elections
in 2017 and the general elections in 2018. Several of the ministers who resign
belong to an older generation. Some political changes in the course are not
expected to change.