The BirdLife International Cambodia Programme (BICP), in cooperation with farmers of Takeo province’s Dei Loeuk village in Chey Chork commune, Borei Cholsar district, launched a campaign to destroy Mimosa pigra which grows at the Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape.
The move aims to protect the area’s ecological system from what is considered to be a noxious plant.
BICP country director Bou Vorsak, told The Post on Tuesday that Mimosa pigra has been posing serious risks to the ecological system of Cambodian forests and causing an inconvenience to farmers and fishermen.
He said Mimosa pigra “destroys animal and plant species in the water and on land. It can withstand all weather conditions in the region because of its deep and strong roots”.
As the plant poses a threat to the ecological system of Cambodian wetlands, the BICP created a programme for the extermination of the plant twice a year, before and after the wet season.
The organisation’s working group will cut down the plants and gather its fruits to be burned and buried in a 1m deep hole.
This, said Vorsak, is the fourth time his working group had collaborated with the district’s farming and fishing communities to eliminate and manage its spread in the protected area.
The campaign for this season was carried out from January 15-19. “As a result, around 75 per cent of the razed Mimosa pigra died while 25 per cent re-grew,” he said.
Wildlife Conservation Society director Ken Serey Rotha said the plant seems to have been transported to the Kingdom through the Mekong River.
He noted that the plant is accustomed to all weather conditions in the region and nothing could be done to eliminate or stop its spread to other areas of the Kingdom, other than to control it.
Meng Monireak, the director of the Ministry of Environment’s Department of Biodiversity of the General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development, told The Post that the ministry had previously tested three methods to eradicate the plant species but failed.
“Up to now, we are still concerned with the spread of Mimosa pigra in the core area of the Tonle Sap river because it destroys the aquatic ecosystem,” he said.
Research conducted by a team of environmental specialists in 2009 revealed that Mimosa pigra was estimated to cover around 20 per cent of the Tonle Sap river’s core area.