The environment ministry’s freshwater wetlands conservation department, in collaboration with NatureLife Cambodia, held a technical consultation workshop this week on the ongoing planning and zoning work in the Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape, which has been proposed as a Ramsar site.

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of global importance under the Ramsar Convention – an international treaty governing the conservation of wetland areas.

According to the environment ministry, the Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape may qualify for Ramsar classification due to substantial human dependency on its natural resources and because it is home to numerous rare bird species.

In his opening remarks at the May 16 workshop, General Directorate of Natural Protected Areas (GDNPA) head Kim Nong underscored that the Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including birds and fishes at heightened risk of extinction, according to a May 18 statement from NatureLife Cambodia.

“Nominating this wetland as a Ramsar site with the management zone will contribute to leveraging more support from relevant stakeholders to ensure effective site management and biodiversity conservation, enhance public awareness about the importance of wetlands and promote the sustainable use of natural resources,” the statement said.

The workshop backed Boeung Prek Lapouv’s nomination as a Ramsar site and called for the zoning process be finished as soon as possible, it said.

The event was attended by 40 representatives of the Takeo provincial Department of Environment as well as Borei Cholsar and Koh Andet district authorities, along with “focal departments and relevant NGOs”, it added.

Boeung Prek Lapouv could become the Kingdom’s sixth Ramsar site, after: Koh Kapi Ramsar in Koh Kong province; Prek Toal Ramsar in Battambang; Stung Sen Ramsar and Tonle Chhmar Ramsar in Kampong Thom; and Stung Treng Ramsar in Stung Treng.

The statement gave two English titles for the workshop, the longer of which was “Management zoning and nominate Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscape as Ramsar site”.