I was just in the Areng Valley in Koh Kong Province to scout out a potential drone video, with the gracious assistance of the Mother Nature NGO. Wet weather and bad road conditions precluded any aerial footage from happening, but I did shoot a few stills.

The beautiful and hard-to-reach Areng Valley is in danger of being flooded by a Chinese dam project, spearheaded by Sinohydro and corrupt Cambodian officials. Mother Nature is attempting to save this beautiful place, its indigenous population, and its rare Siamese crocodiles.

Disturbingly, I heard this evening that the activists from Mother Nature have been arrested in their effort to maintain a roadblock that is keeping authorities and Chinese surveyors out. Please reach out to me and to Twitter if you see this and have any info.

What did I make of these activists? When I visited the roadblock into the Areng Valley, I was most struck by how fearless the young protestors were.  I asked them if they were worried about being arrested, and the answer was emphatically “no.”

The activists were committed regardless of the risk, and were willing to stake it out in the mud and the wet at the roadblock to maintain their moral objection.

Said 22-year-old Mala Sun, pictured here: “If we are afraid of the police, we will lose. We must make sure our team is stronger than the police, and that we are not afraid. Why would we be afraid of police?”

PS: If you’ve got a use for these photos that benefits Mother Nature, feel free to borrow them.

mala sun mother nature

Forest rights activist at the roadblock.

Forest rights activist at the roadblock.

The roadblock at Areng Valley.

The roadblock at Areng Valley.

River crossing in wet season at Areng.

River crossing in wet season at Areng.

areng rapids

Powerful rapids at Areng.

 

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