NatureLife Cambodia organised a recent three-day natural resources protection workshop for members of five communities that are inside or adjacent to the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.

The training, run from June 20-22, focused on natural resources and biodiversity conservation for 22 management committee members of three Community Protected Areas (O’Rai, O’Koki, and Veal Kambor) and two community conservation groups (Sre Chrey and Roveak).

Many of the participants are directly involved in biodiversity data collection, habitat protection, and nest searching in the sanctuary, which spans Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces.

In a social media post, NatureLife explained that the objective of the training was to improve the basic knowledge of local activists about biodiversity conservation, including the link between the environment and biodiversity, the economic rationale behind conservation and the value of the connection between humans and nature. They also learned basic methods of biodiversity monitoring and research.

The post announced that specific lessons focused on surveys and conservation action for some of the rare and critically endangered bird species which are found in the sanctuary, including the giant ibis, the white shouldered ibis and the sarus crane.

“Following this training, the majority of trainees will apply their new knowledge in developing field survey plans, conducting nest searches and monitoring the population of these three species,” it added.

Bou Vorsak, Cambodia programme manager at BirdLife International, said on June 26 that training was also organised for other communities in the Boeng Tonle Chhmar and Stung Sen areas.

“The community protected areas have the permission from the Ministry of Environment to manage their areas. Therefore, we have helped them to implement biodiversity monitoring and plan their management,” he added.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the training was part of strengthening the capacity of local communities to participate in the protection and the conservation of natural resources.

“Once they have a clear understanding of conserving natural resources, they will join us in more actively protecting and conserving the areas. The Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is part of our project to sell carbon credits, so the communities need to be active in curbing forest offences and protecting the Kingdom’s natural resources,” he added.