We work to improve the socio-economic status of local communities at Veun Sai – Siem Pang National Park (VSSP NP) while raising awareness of forest and wildlife conservation. Community-based organisations have been created to coordinate conservation activities, facilitate collaborations with authorities and to develop gibbon-centered eco-tourism.
ASAP Species That We Work On
Though our focal species is the Northern buff-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus annamensis), our surveys in VSSP NP and adjacent areas have revealed the presence of the following ASAP species that have also benefited from our efforts:
- Grey-shanked Douc Langur Pygathrix cinerea
- Sunda pangolin Manis javanica
- Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis
- Giant ibis Thaumatibis gigantea
- White-shouldered ibis Pseudibis davisoni
- White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis
- Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris
- Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus
What We Do
Our actions have benefited local biodiversity in the following ways:
- The Veun Sai – Siem Pang forests were gazetted as a National Park, which should help to control/prevent large-scale exploitation.
- Two community Protected Areas were created.
- Our initiatives have fostered a strong partnership between the Ministry of Environment, Provincial Department of the Environment and local communities. Community wardens are recognized as key players in the local conservation network and conduct joint patrols with government park rangers.
- Satellite imagery analysis has reported an increase of 8,281 ha of evergreen forest in the site between 2016-2019.
- Collaboration between local communities has contributed to reductions in illegal timber harvesting and increased protection for the gibbon and other wildlife populations in VSSP NP.
- Patrol efforts by community wardens and park rangers have seen poaching rates decline (SMART reports).
- 208 people presently work as community wardens (an increase of 139%) and undertake 63 patrols/year; totaling 325 days and covering an average of 1,500 km/year. In 2018, 20 snares were removed (vs 159 wildlife snares in 2016 - indicative of a decline in poaching).
- 54 gibbons were sighted by community wardens, suggesting that populations have grown.
- Community awareness of the importance of protecting wildlife has increased.
Where We Work
We work in the far north-eastern Cambodia, an exceptional habitat of deciduous, semi-evergreen and evergreen forests, which host one of the highest concentrations of globally-threatened species in the world.
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Featured image: Poh Kao