Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM endorses World Park concept

PM endorses World Park concept

PM endorses World Park concept

THE man who just got the Second Prime Minister's blessing to explore the preservation

of 70 percent of Cambodia as a World Park is convinced it's a sound alternative to

selling the forests in one-off concessions to foreign loggers.

"It makes better business sense for the Government to back our idea of a World

National Park than to sanction timber deals which bring in a billion dollars of revenue

at one time," said Marshall F. Perry, director of the Society for Ecology and

Wildlife Preservation.

Perry said the Society, which had lobbied Cambodian leaders since May 1995 to turn

the country into an eco-tourism driven economy, had just won the backing of Hun Sen

- together with the support of King Norodom Sihanouk, sixteen ministries, and two

public councils - to launch an 18-month $2.7 million feasibility study beginning

June.

In a Mar 29 letter to Perry, in which he turned down its invitation to act as "high

official patron", Hun Sen endorsed the conservation campaign.

"The World National Park Program...is very important, in preventing environmental

disaster and in saving the wildlife of Cambodia," Hun Sen wrote.

Perry conceived of the idea when the Ministry of Environment commissioned the Society

to draft a management plan for one of the national parks last year.

"We went down to King Sihanouk National Park to take a look at it, and found

that the Cambodian military was logging it," he said. "It was very depressing

for us."

Perry professed to being a firm believer in working with - rather than against -

the government to keep Cambodia green. "I came up with the idea that the only

way to protect the environment here is if we have a 100 percent commitment from the

government to protect the forests... There is no halfway measure."

The only way to get the government to stop felling trees, said Perry, is to give

it an economic alternative and a far better incentive for protecting them.

In his view, it is counterproductive for conservationists to simply tell Cambodians

that logging is environmentally destructive, especially when they are strapped for

cash.

"Until we presented them with a viable alternative, the realities demanded that

they cut down the forests, because they needed the money.

"You motivate Cambodian leaders to go for the park in the same way they are

motivated sell the forests off wholesale - for economic profit.

"So we came up with an idea about how the government could make a much greater

return off of Cambodia's timber resources through conservation rather than logging.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided