From the Phnom Penh Post Article (21 November 2008)
Highlights: Local rights groups highlight flaws in Developer’s arguments, question environmental commitment.
“… SHUKAKU Inc, the local developer filling in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak lake as part of a commercial and housing development, has manipulated its own environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) to justify construction, say local housing rights groups.
“… housing rights advocates have dismissed the argument that filling in the lake constitutes effective environmental management.
“It’s a completely false argument,” said Hallam Goad, advisor to housing rights advocacy group Sahmakum Teang Tnaut.
“The lake is polluted, for sure – partly through human effluent and partly through other kinds of waste materials – but you need to clean the lake, not fill it in.”
Goad also criticised sections of the report that claim the development “will not cause negative impacts to infrastructure systems”, or that it “will improve the traffic system in Phnom Penh” and attract up to US$2 billion worth of investment.
“All I can see is that the $2 billion is the value of the real estate they will create by filling in the lake, which will go straight into their own pockets. In comparison to the key open space in the city, it doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said.