Minister of Environment Visits Eastern Plains Landscape

AKP Phnom Penh, January 22, 2020 —

Minister of Environment H.E. Say Samal yesterday paid a visit to local communities during his trip to Eastern Plains Landscape.

During the trip, H.E. Say Samal shared the royal government’s support to promote community development and help local people realise their plans for development at the local level, contributing to their livelihood improvements.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia aims to promote better income generation for the local community in addition to the traditional dependence on non-timber forest products through promotion and creation of new livelihoods opportunities especially in sustainable ecotourism and agricultural practices. For example, the community people can be trained to raise and manage husbandry production for supply to local market,” he said.

H.E. Say Samal visited Trapeang Thmier outpost situated within the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary Koh Nhek district, Mondulkiri province, and about 100 kilometres from Sen Monorom city, where he met with a total of 300 people including villagers from 18 Community Protected Areas (CPAs) within the Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Mr. Vil Bunthea, Chief of Community Network for Nature Resources Conservation, Eastern Region Mekong River, described the engagement of local villagers from CPAs in livelihoods enhancement, which involved environmental education, skills training for sustainable agricultural practices and techniques, for example in producing rice, pepper, vegetables to achieve higher productivity, as well as sustainable techniques for harvesting and processing NTFPs such as honey and bamboo without compromising sustainable access to and management of natural resources in the community areas.

Besides livelihoods activities, CPA members also regularly patrol in cooperation with MoE law enforcement team and local authorities in their respective Community Protected Area. They combat forest crimes and remove snares from the forests in the protected areas. Mr. Breoy Khverk, Chief of Trapaing Khaerm CPA, said: “regular patrol inside CPA is important because natural resources are our ‘rice pots’ for all community members, both current and future generations.”

Eastern Plains Landscape is an area that officially recognised as the house of bio-diversity in Cambodia. It has habited many wildlife species, including the three wild cattle species- banteng, gaur, and wild water buffalo; deer species such as Eld’s deer, and wild pig. This area also considered as the cats habitat with a small numbers of tiger, an increasing number of leopard, relatively many jungle cat, and possibly a few clouded leopard and fishing cat. Other carnivores include Asiatic jackal and dhole, or Asian wild dog, as well as sun bears and several civet species. The forest also contains a rich diversity of primates including black-shanked douc and Germain’s silver langur as well as pig-tailed and long-tailed macaque. Some threatened water birds including sarus crane, critically endangered giant and white-shouldered ibis as well as lesser and possibly greater adjutant; three critically endangered vulture species, slender-billed, white-rumped, and red-headed vulture, are also found there.

By Khan Sophirom