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Protected area communities receive management training

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The Ministry of Environment’s community biodiversity department, the Preah Vihear provincial environment department and RECOFTC co-organised a two-day training session from September 28-29 for 40 commune council members from 20 commune administrations in the province. SUPPLIED

Protected area communities receive management training

Commune council members are undergoing training in community protected area management and will make a significant contribution to raising awareness of its importance. They have the ability to coordinate community work in line with government policy to raise their living standards.

The Ministry of Environment’s community biodiversity department, the Preah Vihear provincial environment department and RECOFTC co-organised a two-day training session from September 28-29 for 40 commune council members from 20 commune administrations in the province.

Provincial governor Kim Rithy said that the training session was of real importance at this time.

“This training session makes an important contribution to raising awareness of all commune members and gives them the ability to coordinate community protected area work in line with government policy to raise their living standards,” he added.

He continued that the establishment of community protected areas was being carried out with the goal of granting local communities rights in managing the use of natural resources.

He added that the training will improve their livelihoods, especially for those who live in and around the protected areas, as they depend on natural resources to live.

“In addition, we are preparing to establish community protected areas as an means of preserving natural resources to contribute to the mitigation of the climate change that is occurring globally,” he said.

Preah Vihear province consists of 10 protected areas – totalling 965,882ha – under the management of the provincial environment department. Nine protected areas cover 774,569ha and the Oddar Biodiversity Conservation Corridor covers 191,313ha.

Back in May 2016, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a sub-decree establishing 18 protected areas of 2,675,503ha under the management and conservation of the environment ministry.

Prey Lang, one of the 18 protected areas, was transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to the environment ministry. In total, the environment ministry is responsible for 41 protected areas, including 23 which were created since 1993.

Environment minister Say Samal said at a September 28 inter-ministerial meeting on Safe Village-Commune Competition that the contest would help beautify communes, make them free of garbage, and help people to live comfortable, dignified and civilised lives based on ministry guidelines.

“We have implemented the Safe Village-Commune competition to make towns, houses, markets and tourist areas clean and sanitary ones that attract tourism,” he said.

The ministry manages garbage in villages, communes and districts to reduce solid waste. It has established dumpsites in some areas and delivered incinerators. The public was being educated about the importance of a clean environment and many citizens were joining the ministry to promote a sanitary environment, he added.

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