23.05.2011 -

Support for operational activities in the core areas of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve

In the framework of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, the Ministry of Environment initiated a pilot programme in Prek Toal, Koh Chiveang commune, Battambang province in 1997.

The programme, supported by UNESCO since 1999, aims to promote environmental education and awareness, conduct regular ecological research and monitoring, promote conservation of flooded forest and wildlife of international significance, identify alternative livelihoods and incentive for community participation, and explore ecotourism potential. Many of the activities are also supported by other partners, particularly Wildlife Conservation Society and OSMOSE. An environmental research station next to Prek Toal core area of the Biosphere Reserve serves as a facility for carrying out daily activities. The station employs 12 villagers and is administered by two environmental staff under the overall supervision of the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve Secretariat.

In addition, UNESCO supported in December 2002 the organisation by the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve Secretariat staff of training workshop for local communities about the existing laws and regulations relevant to natural resources conservation and management in the Tonle Sap. The workshops held at Koh Chiveang (Prek Toal), Anlong Samnor (Meat Khlar) and Pean Bang communes involved relevant stakeholders at local level, including local authorities, chief of community fisheries associations, soldiers and policemen. The participation of local residents and local authorities would be essential for the long-term management of the core areas, as well as the whole Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve. For these workshops, a number of educational materials were produced in advance.

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