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Protected Areas
Last updated: 2013
Trade & Investment Promotion Unit - Royal Embassy of Cambodia - London

23 protected areas and 3 Ramsar sites

Cambodia pioneered the creation of protected areas in South East Asia in 1925 by setting aside the Angkor temple complex and surrounding areas for protection. In 1993, a Royal Decree established a national system comprising 23 protected areas classified under four major categories: National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Protected Landscapes, and Multiple Use Areas.

The Department of Nature Conservation and Protection under the Ministry of Environment has the responsibility for overseeing these 23 protected areas and 3 Ramsar sites, two of which are contained within the 23 protected areas. Combined, all of these areas cover 32,289 sq km.

Today, the greatest threat to Cardamom Mountains landscape come from the country's rapid post-conflict development trajectory; road construction, intensive agriculture and a hunger for land threaten to fragment the landscape irreparably. Mining companies have been granted access, forcing local communities from their tradition local community development into the future will be a difficult balancing act.

Inward migration of natural values must happen alongside the sustainable development of existing communalities. The area has been identified as one worthy of World not only greater recognition and protection of the area's natural values, but perhaps also go some way to safeguarding the rich cultural heritage of the traditional custodians of the forest.

A two million hectare landscape consists of rugged mountain ranges, peaks up to 1800 meters and extensive lowland forests. Rivers channel the heavy rains into the Great Lake, nourishing the fisheries and rice paddies that, in turn, feed the nation. The area remains a haven for globally threatened species, including tigers, crocodiles and elephants.


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