Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 22nd October 2018 – WWF-Cambodia applauds the Cambodian Government’s decision to establish two new protected areas totalling more than 62,000 hectares in Kratie Province as a big step toward saving the country’s forests and endangered species. Sambo Wildlife Sanctuary and Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary are rich in biodiversity, including hog deer, Eld’s deer, Silvered Leaf Monkey, White-shouldered Ibis, Woolly-necked Stork, and Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle. Their forests and rivers are vital sources of income and resources for local communities, in addition to preventing climate change, floods and droughts.
The new areas were declared “Protected Wildlife Sanctuaries” on October 5th by Government sub-decree following a detailed evaluation process.
Sambo Wildlife Sanctuary has a total area of 50,093 hectares situated in Sambo district, and Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary has a total area of 12,770 hectares straddling Sambor and Prek Prasab districts. These sanctuaries support the most intact forests and riverine habitats in the area with the lowest human densities. A total of at least 11 large mammal species, 56 species of amphibians and reptiles, 683 species of plants, at least 15 bird species and 223 native fish species were recorded during surveys in 2006-2007.
“This is another big step in the right direction of the Royal Government of Cambodia for the protection of Cambodia’s forests and wildlife. Forests are such important landscapes for wildlife species and local communities in Cambodia and we need to ensure they are protected against illegal activities,” said Mr. Seng Teak, WWF Cambodia Country Director. “We are so excited about this news and we hope to work closely with the government to put strict management at the ground level for these newly established wildlife sanctuaries,” he added.
Forests are vital habitats for many endangered species of wildlife in Cambodia, and protecting them is essential if we are to save these species. Forests also provide essential services such as natural resources for the livelihoods of local communities, including non-timber forest products like medicinal plants, honey and resin. Forests are crucial for carbon storage and sequestration, as well as preventing flooding and reducing drought impact. The forest habitats are therefore extremely valuable for conservation and sustainable development of the country.
WWF will work in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and other relevant stakeholders to ensure effective management of these wildlife sanctuaries. WWF commits to continue mobilizing resources and capacities to support the government to sustainably manage and protect the sites for the current and future generations.
WWF has identified the Mekong Flooded Forest landscape in which these two new established wildlife sanctuaries are located as one of the top global priority places for conservation. WWF’s work in this landscape has been supported by various donors and partners including the Belgian Government and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and WWF network offices.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. UN Chakrey, Communications Manager of WWF-Cambodia
Tel: (855) 17 234 555