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Natural resource conservation, driver of local livelihood

A pristine waterfall near the river of Lingas at Kulen. Khmer Times

Natural resource conservation serves as a key basis in promoting ecotourism and community tourism – drivers of local livelihood.

Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and Head of the Inter-ministerial Working Group for the Management and Development of Tourism and Ecotourism Communities, shared the insight in his closing remark of the 2nd National Ecotourism Forum held in Siem Reap recently.

The resilience of ecotourism and community tourism in Cambodia has contributed to reducing the aftermath of the drastic drop of international visitors (caused by COVID-19 pandemic) to the country by vibrating domestic tourism, he added.

The industry, he continued, is now a key source of income for the locals, sustaining their livelihood amid the crisis.

According to Say Samal, Minister of Environment and Permanent Deputy Head of the Inter-ministerial Working Group, the government has established 174 communities to lead local natural resource conservation.

Of the created communities, about 20 are increasingly becoming potential natural destinations.

He echoed the insight of Khon, adding that the trend is diversifying local income generation means by encouraging the communities not to depend only on forest products, but to collectively preserve the resources for sustainable livelihood and environment. Lim Nary – AKP

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