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Ministry aims to give basalt-rich area conservation status

Sun Mesa / Khmer Times Share:
Officials stand next to rocks believed to contain basalt. Environment Ministry

The Ministry of Environment is planning to designate a conservation status to an area rich in basalt rocks and wildlife in Mondulkiri province, an official said.

The revelation came after a team of environment officials visited an area known as a spirit forest by Bunong minorities, adjacent to Phnom Nam Lear wildlife sanctuary in Pich Chreada district’s Bousra commune last week.

Loeung Kesaro, director of heritage park department at the Environment Ministry, yesterday said that the officials surveyed the area in Bousra commune’s Sala Pram village and found it abundant with basalt rocks.

Mr Kesaro said the officials could not determine the age of the rocks, but said they could be thousands years.

He said the area could be turned into a tourist destination and conservation zone.

“The area is rich in natural resources and we should protect it,” he said.

Mr Kesaro said thousands of basalt rocks are scattered in the sprawling area along with wildlife.

“It deserves to be a natural heritage and conservation site,” he said, adding he is writing a document to submit to minister Say Samal for approval.

“We will wait for an approval and advice from the minister because we will submit all the documents to him this week,” he said.

If the plan is approved by Mr Samal, Mr Kesaro said his team will visit the area again and demarcate its boundary.

Vuth Sarom, director of Phnom Nam Lear wildlife sanctuary, yesterday said that most of the basalt rocks are between 0.4 metres to 0.6 metre wide and 1.5 to 2 metres long.

“This place is rich in natural resources and wildlife. It is very priceless,” Mr Sarom said.

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