Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Global forest threat: report

Global forest threat: report

Global forest threat: report

forest_story
Fishermen hoist a giant Mekong catfish in 2006.

Conservation International has named a biodiversity area that includes all of Cambodia as the most endangered such region in the world, claiming it has only 5 percent of its original habitat remaining.

The environmental group released a list on Wednesday of the world’s 10 most threatened “forest hotspots”, grouping Cambodia within the “Indo-Burma” region, which also includes Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and small areas in India and China.

All 10 regions on the list have lost at least 90 percent of their original habitat and contain at least 1,500 unique plant species, CI said.

Conservation International regional director David Emmett called Cambodia the “jewel” of the Indo-Burma region.

More than a quarter of the Kingdom, he said, has been classified as protected land, in contrast to regional neighbours such as Thailand and Vietnam that have nearly decimated their forests.

“Cambodia has some of the highest concentrations of the most endangered species in the hotspot,” he said.

Logging and development have taken their toll on Cambodia’s forests and wildlife, however.

Government officials have announced plans for numerous hydropower dams on the Mekong River and elsewhere, projects that pose a critical threat to local fish populations, said Eric Baran, a senior scientist at the WorldFish Centre.

In its 2010 annual report, the Forestry Administration said more than 1.3 million hectares worth of economic land concessions, or roughly 7 percent of Cambodia’s territory, have been granted to date.

The FA recommended a review of existing concessions to ensure that the land is being used productively.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,