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Government declares forest in Ratanakiri as protected area

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Aerial view of Yak Loum Lake. wikimedia/Ethan Crowley

The government has decided to designate the Yak Om Yak Kara Lake in Ratanakiri province as a protected area to preserve natural resources.

According to a government sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday, the designation for the lake and forest area covering more than 132 hectares in Lumphat district’s Seda commune, will also preserve its natural beauty, ecosystem, wildlife and plants.

In addition, it will also maintain the environmental equilibrium, contribute towards reducing climate change and natural disaster risks, provide natural products and services for sustainable use as well as protect and preserve the cultural development of local communities.

“The establishment of the protected area is also aimed at promoting the participation of local communities and the public in contributing to the management, conservation and preservation of the biodiversity and natural resources in the area, and enhancing the ecosystem role in the protected area for the interest of the society of all generations,” the sub-decree added.

It said the Ministry of Environment has been authorised to organise and manage the protected area in cooperation with relevant ministries, institutions and the Ratanakiri provincial authorities to ensure environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Environment Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Phon Khemrin, director of the Mondulkiri provincial environment department, said yesterday Boeng Yak Om Yak Kara forest is an area with a beautiful landscape, two connected lakes, good ecosystems and wildlife and needs to be protected and conserved.

He said following its designation as a protected area, the provincial administration and the environment department would develop better road infrastructure and disseminate information to the authorities and local people to be aware and participate in the protection.

“We will organise the area better because it also has tourism potential. So if there is more participation from people to protect it, they will benefit from ecotourism,” he said.

According to an Environment Ministry report, Cambodia currently has over 7.2 million hectares of natural protected areas and biodiversity conservation corridors covering 20 provinces.

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