The Environment Ministry is to request the creation of six new protected areas to safeguard biodiversity and boost conservation in the country.
Tim Sitha, deputy director of the general department of conservation, said the ministry has been studying the potential to establish the new areas.
They are Sangkak Rokhakvoan Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear province, Phnom Kari Yong in Battambang province, tourist areas at Sorsor Sdam and Phnom Kampi in Kratie province, a multi-purpose area at Phnom Neang Kong Rey and Touk Meas in Kampong Chhnang province, as well as a landscape protected area at Preah Neang Donsom in Banteay Meanchey province.
“The ministry plans to submit this request soon,” Mr Sitha said. “We will make sure everything is done smoothly and that we get agreement from local authorities in the areas.”
Cambodia already has almost 50 protected areas covering more than 7.5 million hectares, equivalent to 41 percent of the country’s total land, Mr Sitha added.
Prey Lang Community Network representative Hoeun Sopheap backed the ministry’s proposal.
“In the past, there were no measures to protect the forest, so it was easily lost. If the ministry brings these areas under their control, it means forces can defend them and crimes will be reduced,” he said.
He urged the ministry to manage the areas effectively and implement strict legal measures for the preservation of natural resources.