A 150,000-hectare national park is to be established around the coastal town of
Ream, near Sihanoukville, to protect the environment and promote tourism.
In line with King Norodom Sihanouk's 1993 Royal decree calling for
national parks to be set up, the park is expected to inaugurated early this
Dr Seng Oeurm, Secretary of State for Environment, said plants and
animals in much of the area had been virtually wiped out. More than half of the
pre-war forest which had stood in the area, including 30 per cent of mangrove
tree, had been destroyed.
The Ministry of Environment planned to free
wild animals caught in other areas into the park, to join the few remaining
tigers, deer and birds still there.
A 10-year plan would be implemented
to help preserve what tree saplings were still growing.
Signs would be
put up warning of a ban on hunting and wood-cutting, and an office set up to
Bordering parts of National Route 5 and the coastline, the
area was already a key tourist spot, and had great potential for recreational
activities. It was malaria-free, and had moderate weather and beautiful
Tourists could go swimming or go looking for wild
The Ministry of Defense, which has a naval base at Ream, had
been asked to cooperate and "effectively" protect the National Park. "I will
control the environmental techniques and we ask the naval force to maintain it,"
Dr. Oeurm said.