Kampuchea's logging concession to an Indonesian company - which covers nearly 19 per cent of the country's remaining forest - has raised the spectre of an environmental disaster in southeast Asia. To counter the ill-effects of logging, King Nordorn Sihanouk called on logging companies to plant three trees for each one felled and warned that Kampuchea faced a future as a 'desert' if deforestation did not end.
The desertification of other countries in the region is also a major source of worry. In . Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, the amount of forest cover has declined by at least 30 per cent in the past 40 years, according to surveys. "An environmental disaster is in the making if rainforests in the region are being unscrupulously destroyed," says T C Cheng, a conservation officer at the Hong Kong office of Friends of the Earth, the international environment group.