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Ministry of Environment Initiates Siem Reap Tourism Ventures to Aid Forest and Wildlife Conservation

Phnom Penh, April 18, 2024 – The Ministry of Environment is spearheading efforts to set up entertainment venues within the protected areas of Siem Reap. These initiatives aim to allow local communities to generate income by charging service fees to tourists, thereby supporting both conservation and community development.

Chuob Paris, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Environment, views the establishment of recreational areas and service facilities as a dual-purpose strategy. This approach not only supports the government's goal to increase Cambodia's forest cover to 60% by 2050 but also helps uplift local communities economically by integrating them into the tourism sector.

Phan Thon, Community President of the Prey Thom Anlong Thom Community Protected Area located on Kulen Mountain's ridge, highlighted the positive impact of tourism on community livelihoods. According to him, the community has benefited from selling local products and offering food and transport services to tourists visiting the natural forests. "Our community's unique selling point includes waterfront locations ideal for camping and touring the surrounding forest, ancient hills, and temples," Thon explained. He noted that visitors often choose to stay overnight to fully experience the area's natural and historical attractions.

Sun Kong, Director of the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Environment, shared that there are eight state-controlled protected areas in Siem Reap. These are crucial for preventing unauthorized encroachment and for the conservation and management of forests and wildlife. These areas, which include the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, Boeung Per Wildlife Sanctuary, and several others, encompass over 280,000 hectares. They are integral to maintaining sustainable landscapes and promoting eco-tourism in the region.



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