K Thom wet­land picked as the lat­est Ram­sar Site

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Khouth Sophak Chakrya

THE Stung Sen wet­land has be­come the King­dom’s lat­est Ram­sar Site, said the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment.

The sea­son­ally-flooded 9,293ha fresh­wa­ter swamp, lo­cated along the south­east­ern edge of the Tonle Sap great lake in Kam­pong Thom prov­ince, was de­clared Cam­bo­dia’s fifth Ram­sar Site on Fri­day un­der a prime min­is­te­rial sub­de­cree.

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.

Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment Dr Say Sa­mal said the recog­ni­tion will draw at­ten­tion to Stung Sen’s in­ter­na­tional im­por­tance. “It will also be a bridge for Cam­bo­dia to nom­i­nate more wet­lands as Ram­sar Sites in the fu­ture,” he said.

Masaru Horikami, the di­rec­tor of the Ja­panese En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry’s Wildlife Di­vi­sion, lauded the recog­ni­tion as “a re­sult of co­op­er­a­tive and con­tin­u­ous ef­forts among var­i­ous stake­hold­ers”.

She said her team has been build­ing the ca­pac­ity of the site man­agers since 2016 “to en­sure the ecosys­tem ser­vices at Stung Sen will be sus­tain­ably man­aged for the ben­e­fit of bio­di­ver­sity and lo­cal liveli­hood.”

On the sig­nif­i­cance of Stung Sen, Reiko Iit­suka, the Ram­sar Con­ven­tion Sec­re­tar­iat’s se­nior ad­viser for the Asia/ Ocea­nia re­gion, said: “The wet­land is very im­por­tant as habi­tats for a num­ber of en­dan­gered species, in­clud­ing birds and mam­mals.”

She said her or­gan­i­sa­tion will con­tinue work­ing with the Cam­bo­dian gov­ern­ment to en­sure sus­tain­able wet­land man­age­ment and pro­mote its wise use for the ben­e­fit of the lo­cal peo­ple and the en­vi­ron­ment.

She also noted that the Ram­sar Con­ven­tion Sec­re­tar­iat will con­tinue sup­port­ing the gov­ern­ment to des­ig­nate more sites.

Wet­lands cover about onethird of Cam­bo­dian ter­ri­tory, with the ma­jor­ity hav­ing been iden­ti­fied as glob­ally im­por­tant, due to the ecosys­tem ser­vices they pro­vide and the pop­u­la­tions of threat­ened species they sup­port.

The King­dom rat­i­fied the con­ven­tion on Oc­to­ber 23, 1999. Four Ram­sar Sites had been des­ig­nated prior to Stung Sen.

They are Boe­ung Chh­mar in Kam­pong Thom prov­ince, Koh Kapik in Koh Kong prov­ince, mid­dle stretches of the Mekong River in the north of Stung Treng prov­ince, and Prek Toal in Bat­tam­bang prov­ince.

ELEANOR BRIGGS/WILDLIFE CON­SER­VA­TION SO­CI­ETY

Greater ad­ju­tants at Prek Toal, spot­ted in 2012. Wet­lands cover a third of Cam­bo­dian ter­ri­tory.

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