Chut Wutty was an eco-martyr and human rights defender in Cambodia who fought tirelessly to protect forests and the environment, and the communities that depended on them. His fight for environmental justice brought him into conflict with powerful political and economic interests, which ultimately cost him his life.
He was born in the province of Koh Kong, Cambodia, in 1972. From an early age, he became interested in nature and realized the importance of protecting forests for future generations. Throughout his life, he worked as a tour guide in Cardamom National Park, where he saw first-hand the environmental degradation his country was suffering. In 2001, he founded the non-governmental organization Environmental Watch Association (EWA), which was dedicated to investigating and exposing illegal logging, mining and other environmental abuses in Cambodia.
Chut Wutty’s work brought him into confrontation with powerful political and economic interests, including local politicians and logging companies. In 2012, while investigating illegal logging in Koh Kong province, Wutty was shot and killed. He was reportedly stopped by police while traveling in a vehicle with two foreign journalists, and then shot by a forest guard.
Chut’s death sent shockwaves through Cambodia and around the world, and became a tragic example of the dangers faced by environmental defenders in many parts of the world. His death also sparked international outrage and calls for action to protect environmental defenders around the world.
Chut’s legacy continues to inspire other environmental activists in Cambodia and other parts of the world. His work helped raise awareness of environmental issues and the rights of local communities in his country, and he continues to be an example of courage and dedication to those fighting for environmental protection and human rights around the world.
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