The Kuy: It Was Their Forest First
Prey Lang is arguably the largest area of intact indigenous land in Cambodia. About 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Kuy, live in 339 villages in six districts surrounding the forest. As customary forest custodians, the Kuy are not only dependent on Prey Lang for their livelihoods, but their social and spiritual traditions are also closely tied to it.
Even considering the large number of resident indigenous people and their long history in the area, the Kuy’s legalclaims to the forest have not been recognized. This disregards both Cambodian constitutional provisions and rights guaranteed under the United National Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to which Cambodia is a signatory.