Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - El Nino fire warning issued

El Nino fire warning issued

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Ministry of Environment ranger surveys the charred remains of the flooded forest that once surrounded Prek Toal village in Battambang province. The Ministry of Environment issues a statement on preventing forest fires in natural protected areas and biodiversity conservation corridors on Monday. Hong Menea

El Nino fire warning issued

The Ministry of Environment issued a statement on Monday on preventing forest fires in natural protected areas and biodiversity conservation corridors.

The statement, which cited a government directive on water preservation from last Thursday, said Cambodian weather is set to be heavily influenced by the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, a weather event involving a cycle of warm and cold temperatures impacting the tropics and subtropics.

During El Nino, temperatures can rise to highs of 42 degrees Celsius, with very little rain. This will result in the government issuing a cautionary statement on Thursday which raised concerns about the possibility of a drought in the Kingdom in April and May.

The ministry’s statement said as a result of the extreme heat and dryness, there will be an increased risk of forest fires from natural causes and human activity.

It said forest fires frequently occurred in natural protected areas and biodiversity conservation corridors every year.

Through the statement, the ministry hoped to educate all organisations, ministries and sub-national authorities about the heightened dangers of forest fires during the El Nino period.

Ministry spokesperson Neth Pheaktra told The Post on Monday that the ministry was ramping up efforts to prevent forest fires this year.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Flooded forests burning at the Prek Toal bird sanctuary in Battambang Province in 2016. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

“We need to be careful because this year’s extra high temperatures, along with the especially dry climate, will make it easier to cause wildfires by accident when people burn waste in natural protected areas,” he said.

The main cause of forest fires in the dry season is illegal forest land clearing to grow agricultural crops, as well as people starting forest fires to catch wildlife.

The statement issued six guiding directives to prevent wildfires for sub-national authorities and local communities to follow, including cautiousness when using fire to harvest crops and catch animals.

The ministry’s statement also prohibited any acts that violate Article 62 of the Law on Natural Protected Areas, including forest clearing, burning and destruction.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports