UNESCO has recommended that Cambodia prepare more comprehensive documentation before submitting a proposal for up to five areas of significance in the Kingdom to be given world heritage status.
The areas are the Phnom Tbeng Natural Heritage Areas, Mekong Prek Kampi dolphin sanctuary management protected area, Phnom Nam Lear Rock in Phnom Nam Lear Wildlife Sanctuary, the Prek Prasab Wildlife Sanctuary, and south Cardamom National Park.
Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on March 9 that this was the first time that Cambodia had considered applying for the protected natural sites to be listed as world heritages.
However, he said the March 6 inter-ministerial meeting had not yet made any decisions because of the recommendations to prepare more in-depth and detailed documentation.
“We have time. Therefore, we will work on preparing the documentation in order to submit a more robust application to Unesco for World Heritage registration,” he said.
The Ministry of Environment said in a Facebook post on March 7 that it and other ministries identified a number of outstanding protected areas in a meeting on March 6 which it wanted to include in the Unesco submission.
“A technical meeting was called to discuss proposals for submission. The advice we got back after the meeting was that we needed more comprehensive documentation for the proposal.
“The areas that will be in the final proposal have not been decided yet, and we will have more meetings before confirming the list,” Pheaktra said.
He said the proposal is to protect and preserve the areas, which are internationally recognised for their richness in ecological diversity and cultural, historical, and environmental values.
The meeting, Pheaktra said, served to identify the uniqueness of the five protected areas and approve a list from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, specifically for our proposal to Unesco.
The meeting was attended by 70 representatives including officials of the ministries of Environment, and Culture, and representatives from ICC Angkor, Unesco Cambodia, Cambodian National Commission for Unesco, provincial administrations of Koh Kong, Preah Vihear, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri, and development partners.
Cambodia has at least eight Unesco World Heritages, including Angkor, Royal Ballet, Khmer shadow theatre Lakhon Sbek Thom, the Temple of Preah Vihear, Tugging rituals and games, Chapei Dang Veng, Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, and Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet.