The Tbong Khmum Provincial Administration plans to transform the Boeung Kade multi-purpose area in Kroch Chhmar and Dombae districts into an eco-tourism attraction while remaining committed to preventing deforestation and poaching in order to protect and conserve its natural resources and biodiversity.
Provincial hall spokesman Keng Bunna said on December 6 that things were still in the planning phase and without any exact timeline.
“We will make the place attractive and build a road to make it easier for people to travel there. When the water recedes, villagers can farm there until the waters rise again and we will then use it as a fish habitat,” he said.
Kroch Chhmar district governor Soy Touch said district authorities are working to develop the area’s infrastructure and amenities while improving its appearance.
They have already grown about 1,000 sandan (Garcinia loureiroi) fruit trees and 20,000 more will be planted in the future. The trees were donated by Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara.
“The planting of sandan trees is also useful for rehabilitating the flooded forest habitat. The people can rely on them for making a tasty soup and they also become the flooded forest boundary posts,” he said.
He said the 2,000ha area will also be used for camping in tents, fishing and boating, while the farmers around it benefit from use of the water from the lake for agriculture.
“We have a lot of work to do to develop the area and conserve it. We will plant some more trees that are useful as medicine for the local people and fish and meat are very abundant in this area.
“We need to prevent crime and this year across Kroch Chhmar district we have cracked down on illegal fishing using mosquito nets,” Touch said, adding that authorities had confiscated nearly 50,000m of the insecticide-treated nets.
Dombae district governor Sok Sarith said on December 6 that his administration also plans to plant sandan and Thai crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia floribunda) as well as repair the roads to make it easier for people to travel.
“We plan to plant 500 to 1,000 seedlings step-by-step. Now, we are growing sandan seedlings and crepe myrtles trees. We plant them to have a natural forest area and to improve the place’s looks so it is beautiful and attracts tourists,” he said.
Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on December 6 that the ministry plans to set up boundary posts in the multi-purpose area to clearly demarcate the boundaries to prevent encroachment on the protected portions.
The ministry will also request that it be registered as state land so that it has legal protections and they can then recruit rangers to protect the area.
“Forest ranger volunteers can be recruited among the people who live there who have the most motivation to work to protect and conserve the area,” he said.