Ministry, WCS extend conservation deal

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The Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia Programme (WCS) on November 25 signed a project agreement renewal to carry out conservation work in four protected areas. ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

The Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia Programme (WCS) on November 25 signed a project agreement renewal to carry out conservation work in four protected areas, the NGO said in a statement.

The areas were listed as the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri and Kratie provinces, Prek Toal Ramsar Site in Battambang province, Northern Plains Landscape in Preah Vihear province and Southern and Northern Tonle Sap Landscapes in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Pursat provinces.

The accompanying ceremony was presided over by ministry secretary of state Sao Sopheap, and attended by representatives of relevant units under the Cabinet-level agency.

Sopheap “thanked WCS for their continued technical advice and donor funding support which contributes to strengthening of Protected Area Management and community-focused biodiversity conservation initiatives”.

He said the projects have beefed up human resources, legal enforcement, and the institutional capacity of authorities at all levels, and improved the livelihoods of communities through technical and financial support.

“Through cooperation between the environment ministry and WCS, we’ve successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and degradation,” Sopheap said.

He said the projects had turned Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary into Cambodia's first natural protected area where biodiversity conservation is financially sustainable.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha said the NGO has mobilised funds from development partners, NGOs, the private sector and other donors to support environmental action, build institutional capacity of the authorities, and improve the livelihoods of locals.