The Archaeology and Development Foundation (ADF) with the support of the Ministry of Environment and UNDP is expanding an existing forest protection area in Phnom Kulen National Park to 800ha.
The plan is to stop deforestation and contribute to the conservation of archaeology and tourism in the area.
“This will help stop deforestation and land use for cashew plantations. It will also help preserve eco-tourism sites such as waterfalls and mountains that bring income to the area,” ADF programme director and archaeology programme manager Dr Jean-Baptiste Chevance told The Post on Monday.
He stressed that the designation of forest areas for conservation and community-based law enforcement is necessary to protect natural resources.
Chevance said the ADF has been working in the Phnom Kulen National Park for more than 12 years.
Provincial Department of Environment director Sun Kong said ADF has been doing a lot in that time to preserve archaeological sites and protect forests.
“In expanding the existing forest protection area in Phnom Kulen National Park, ADF has expanded awareness to the people in the community not to cut down the forest,” Kong said.
ADF’s Administrative, Finance and Communications officer Hoeung Hourapich, said the initiative is part of a project called, Building an Enabling Environment for Sustainable Development.
“This work will expand the community protection area,” Hourapich said.
Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said protecting the existing forest in Phnom Kulen National Park contributes to the protection of natural resources in the area and improves the livelihoods of the people in the community.
“The government’s policy is to create local economies and increase incomes to ensure the people have enough money to support their families,” Pheaktra said.