PHNOM PENH, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) — A conservationist group on Monday applauded the Cambodian government’s decision to officially approve the management zones of Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in northeastern Mondulkiri province.
The decision was a critical move for protection of biodiversity and indigenous communities, World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Cambodia said in a statement.
“The new government sub-decree issued on Feb. 1, 2019 will ensure effective protection against environmental crimes such as wildlife poaching, forest destruction and illegal land encroachment,” the statement said.
The zoning plan inside the protected areas allows clear demarcation between different types of land-use: core zones, conservation zones, sustainable use zones and community zones, the statement said.
“This commitment will promote strong participation from local communities as it evokes support from the people to conserve the country’s rich biological diversity,” it said.
Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary is home to globally endangered species including Asian elephant, leopard, clouded-leopard, Banteng, Giant Ibis, white-shoulder Ibis and Siamese crocodile, the statement said.
It was once home to tiger and it has been identified by the government as a priority site for the Tiger reintroduction program. Moreover, it is important in terms of social and cultural aspects for the indigenous communities who live within the realms of the forest, according to the statement.
“The approval of this management zones will allow rangers to effectively implement the Protected Areas Law and to stop any illegal land encroachment inside the Wildlife Sanctuary,” said Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia country director.
“More importantly, it’s a cornerstone for securing an inviolate area for Tiger reintroduction program,” he added. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/04/c_137799006.htm