Protected areas are the cornerstone of conservation strategies in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Well-managed protected area networks are essential if countries are to achieve sustainable natural resource management, support resource-dependent livelihoods, tourism, and honor their commitments under international conventions, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The species that benefit include critically endangered vultures, ibises, crocodiles, turtles and forest trees, together with endangered and vulnerable species such as elephants, wild cattle, primates, forest birds and a large diversity of less threatened species.
Protected areas across the region face similar threats: unsustainable harvests by local communities and migrant groups, and increasing pressure from large-scale agro-industry and commercial extraction. In 2016, national annual deforestation rates were close to 2.23% in Cambodia, 1.95 % in Lao PDR and 0.72% in Myanmar.