YORK (October 22, 2009)—The government of Cambodia has
transformed a former logging concession into a new, Yosemite-sized protected
area that safeguards not only threatened primates, tigers, and elephants, but
also massive stores of carbon according to the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS), which worked closely with governmental agencies to
help create the protected area.
Royal Government’s Council of Ministers recently declared the creation of
the Seima Protection Forest, which covers more than 1,100 square miles along
Cambodia’s eastern border with Vietnam.
commend the Royal Government of Cambodia for their decision to protect this
important refuge for the region’s wildlife and also for safeguarding
stocks of carbon,” said WCS Asia Program Director Colin Poole.
the first protected area in Cambodia
created with the conservation of forest carbon as one of its key goals. WCS is
helping to measure carbon stocks contained in Seima Protection Forest to
calculate the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will not be
released to the atmosphere as a result of the project’s work on reducing
effort will support WCS’s “Carbon for Conservation” initiatives
to help provide incentives to people to protect their forest in
high-biodiversity landscapes, which are being developed in conjunction with
negotiations on a proposed international policy known as Reducing Emissions
from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). In addition to work in
Cambodia, WCS is supporting similar efforts in Bolivia, Guatemala, Chile, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Indonesia.
addition to safeguarding the wildlife of Cambodia,
Seima Protection Forest
will serve as an important model for demonstrating how REDD could be
implemented on the ground,” said Dr. Jane Carter Ingram of WCS’s Conservation
Support Team. “Forests provide numerous benefits for both wildlife and
rural communities, so efforts such as these will help on local, regional and
newly designated protected area contains 23 species of carnivore, including seven
cat species, two bears, and two species of wild dog. Researchers have recently discovered
species new to science, including one species of bat and two species of frog.
will also continue to benefit local hunters and farmers from the Bunong ethnic
minority, who have used the forest for many generations and will retain access
in the newly designated protected area.
addition to providing assistance to the Royal Government in the wildlife
surveys used to establish Seima, WCS also works with law enforcement agencies
to strengthen on-the-ground protection and engages with local communities on
issues integral to balancing conservation with sustainable development such as
land titling and natural resource usage.
Wildlife Conservation Society’s conservation work in this area is supported
by: Asian Development Bank, Eleanor Briggs, Danish International Development
Assistance (DANIDA), Department for International Development (DFID) United
Kingdom, The East Asia and Pacific Environmental Initiative, The John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg
Foundation, New Zealand Aid, Panthera, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and The
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