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New wildlife sanctuary established

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A map of Oddar Meanchey province showing where a new wildlife sanctuary was created. Ministry of Environment

The government has created a new wildlife sanctuary covering more than 30,000 hectares of land in Oddar Meanchey province in a move to conserve natural resources.

According to sub-decree dated April 5, the Sang Rukhavoan Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers 30,254 hectares of land, was established to protect wildlife, ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources, and will contribute to the reduction of climate change and natural disasters.

The sub-decree also encouraged local communities as well as stakeholders to participate in conserving natural resources in the sanctuary, which is located in Anlong Veng and Chong Kal districts as well as Samraong city.

“The Ministry of Environment has the authority to organise and manage Sang Rukhavoan Wildlife Sanctuary in cooperation with relevant ministries and institutions, the Oddar Meanchey provincial administration and armed forces to ensure environmental protection, conservation of ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources,” it said.

Sao Sopheap, spokesman for the Environment Ministry, said the new sanctuary included Sang Rukhavoan community forest that is being overseen by the Venerable Bun Saluth along with other forest communities.

Mr Sopheap said the ministry was closely cooperating with Ven Saluth and local authorities, adding it has also assigned rangers to patrol the sanctuary.

“We have patrolled and strengthened law enforcement related to protection and conservation in that area,” he said.

Ven Saluth, head of the Sang Rukhavoan community forest in charge of fighting illegal logging and poaching since 2002, said he was happy that the government created the wildlife sanctuary to conserve the forest and its natural resources.

“I am happy and thank the head of the royal government for creating this wildlife sanctuary, and thank the provincial authorities for participating in protecting the forest for the next generation and letting the forests in the area grow thicker,” he said.

Ven Saluth said Sang Rukhavoan was first named “Forest Protection and Wildlife Conservation Area” and in 2008 it was renamed the community forest.

In February, at the request of the government, the King issued a royal decree to dissolve two wildlife sanctuaries of more than 110,000 hectares in Battambang and Kratie provinces because they lost potential as wildlife sanctuaries, with some areas having been provided to people as social land concessions.

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