A Northeastern section of the Mekong River that is home to a number of endangered species has been designated a conservation site by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
A prakas issued by Minister Chan Sarun on April 23 officially declared a 56-kilometre section of the Mekong mainstream between Kratie and Stung Treng towns, known as the Mekong Flooded Forest, as a “management and conservation site for biodiversity and fisheries resources”.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the area supports a range of species that have “virtually disappeared” from the region, including the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin and the Cantor’s giant softshell turtle.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia recognises the biodiversity value of the area and the need to protect it for long-term benefits,” said Dr Nao Thuok, director-general of the Fisheries Administration.
Biological surveys carried out in 2007 found an increase in logging, settlement building, intensive fishing, and the clearance of riverbanks in the area, said Phay Somany, government liaison with WWF-Cambodia.