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NGOs unite to protect 937ha forest in Kampong Speu

NGOs unite to protect 937ha forest in Kampong Speu

WILDLIFE Alliance Cambodia (WAC) and the Prambei Mom Forest Community (PMFC) have united to protect a forest area spanning 937ha across Kampong Speu province to conserve its broad biodiversity.

Community forest chief Soeun Lay told The Post on Tuesday that the protected area consists of different terrains including highlands and mountain ranges.

He said the area is home of many species of wild animals such as red jungle fowls, wild boars, wolves, monitor lizards, hydrosaurus salvators (Asian water monitor lizard), tragulus javanicuses (Java mousedeer), peafowl and endangered bantengs.

The PMFC said: “We have protected this forest area for 19 years. Our goal is to protect and conserve this amazingly bio-diverse region, especially for animals like the banteng which are endangered.

He said that the PMFC is supported by 678 families or 2,269 people. “We have protected this forest voluntarily, day and night, since 2003. Thanks to that effort, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on April 3, 2018, acknowledged the area formally.

“On September 10, 2018, an agreement was signed granting the land to the community who has protected it. Wildlife Alliance has also sent forest rangers to help with our work and raise money to continue our patrols.

“It also provided our community with three jerry cans of gasoline (90 litres), 100 boxes of pure drinking water, 100kg of milled rice, clothes and some other equipment over the last month,” he said.

He said to track wild animals in the area, Wildlife Alliance’s rangers had installed seven cameras in the forest and collected data from them once a month.

WAC said supporting PMFC and its community was an important part of the organisation’s own programme.

“The community has played a crucial role in protecting and conserving wild animals within this area and we are proud to support them in their quest.

“The community rangers have helped to protect endangered bantengs, of which there are only around 4,000 left in Southeast Asia.

WAC added it will continue to contribute to the community’s conservation efforts where possible and has pledged to provide financial support to community patrols for the next two years.

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