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Across Southeast Asia, companies are hunting for access to carbon credits -- whether to meet their own climate change pledges, redeem themselves in the eyes of their customers, or preempt the regulations that many believe are inevitable. (Photo by Peter Guest)
The Big Story

COP25: A new carbon market offers hope for Asia's forests

From Mitsui to Shell, companies are investing in emissions offsets

PETER GUEST, Nikkei staff writer | Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

TOKYO/PREY LANG, Cambodia -- A rough trail leads from the village of Toal, on the edge of the vast Prey Lang nature reserve in northeastern Cambodia, to the ranger station at Spong in its interior. Traversing the road -- a slalom of shifting white silt, punctuated by slippery riverbeds veined with tree roots -- takes an organ-jarring two hours on the rangers' Honda motorbikes, first through broken forest and farmland, then into denser woodland.

Torch Vichet, the head ranger, rides pillion on the lead bike with a rifle balanced on one hip. Just under halfway to the station, he calls for a halt: A few paces from the track, a dipterocarp tree, nearly a meter in diameter, has been felled. Its base is sheared cleanly, the upper reaches half-buried in the undergrowth. The midsection has been cut into rings and dragged away.

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