The Environment Ministry has issued a prakas designating 506 hectares inside the Cardamom Mountains as a protected area to preserve the kravanh plant in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district.
The prakas, signed by Environment Minister Say Sam Al on Tuesday, aims to protect and preserve kravanh, a species of plant that is becoming increasingly rare in the Kingdom.
Chea Sam Ang, the director-general of natural resources preservation at the Ministry of Environment, said on Wednesday that the authorities also wished to raise awareness and ensure kravanh exists in the country.
“We need to protect it. We don’t want to lose it. We must make sure that the kravanh becomes self-sustainable,” he said.
Sam Ang said people can use kravanh for food and medicine. “It is a source of traditional medicine, and we consider it a natural heritage of the area,” he said.
He said that, while the ministry is tasked to protect the area, up until now, it did not focus on Kravanh. The ministry has also not defined how it would protect kravanh from large-scale harvesting.
The ministry, he said, plans to demarcate the area where the kravanh trees are found before setting conditions to enable sustainable harvesting by locals.
“Laws governing the violation of the prakas already exist, but we need to strictly enforce it. We need to define conditions for letting locals harvest kravanh responsibly and on a small scale to ensure the long-term sustainability of the plant,” he said.