Cambodia Approves First Protected Area in Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary
May 28, 2014 | From the field | Conservation & Sustainable Development

The Cambodian Ministry of Environment approved the country’s first community protected area in Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary after more than a year-long effort by local villages and MacArthur grantees BirdLife International and the People Resources and Conservation Foundation. The 250,000-hectare Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary in Northeastern Cambodia is home to several critically endangered species, including the white-shouldered Ibis, white-rumped vulture, slender-billed vulture, and red-headed vulture. Economic land concessions for agro-industrial development are a serious threat to natural ecosystems in Cambodia, including within its extensive protected area networks. At least 50,000 hectares of the Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary have been granted as concessions to companies from Vietnam, China and Cambodia without proper consultation with local communities. The concessions not only damage the unique biodiversity of Lomphat but also create conflict with local indigenous groups. The community protected area enhances local management of the wildlife sanctuary and secures a corridor connecting the sanctuary’s core area with the riverine ecosystems along Srepok River through the concessions area.

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