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 Stung Treng, Cambodia
 
Main threats to the wetland biodiversity in the Stung Treng Ramsar Site

A brief description of the threats to the biodiversity of the Stung Treng Ramsar site is presented below in order of threats to systems, habitats and species. An analysis of the root causes is presented in Table 1.
Change in hydrological patterns of the Mekong. A change in the hydrology of the mainstream Mekong River will alter significantly the structure of habitats in the site. Possible changes include the modification to the structure of flooded forest, fish breeding habitats, and the filling of deep pools with sediment.
Increased pressure on wetlands due to increasing human population. Recently there have been many new settlers in the area due to improved security and easier access. This will continue and may result in land-clearing and an increased use of the natural resources, e.g. fish, building and fuel wood. There are no provincial government policies and plans to protect this site at present.
Illegal harvesting activities. Illegal fishing activities include explosive fishing, electric fishing and the blocking of rivers. All of these activities are non-selective and severely compromise the aquatic biodiversity values of the site. Waterbirds are poisoned; turtles, snakes and monitor lizards are collected; and crocodiles and otters are hunted. Sandbar nesting birds are trapped and their eggs collected.
Threats to dolphins. Threats to Irrawaddy Dolphins, whose population in the Mekong numbers less than 100 individuals, include use of explosives for fishing and accidental catching in nylon nets. Disturbance from boats is increasing. Future threats may include a decrease in the abundance in fish due to increased fishing pressure.

Table 1: Threats to wetlands in the Stung Treng Ramsar site, Cambodia.

ThreatImmediate causeRoot cause
Change in hydrological patterns of the Mekong Upstream use of water resources, including hydropower and irrigation • Weak policy framework and unsupportive economic environment for wetland biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
Increased pressure on wetlands due to increasing human population, e.g.
Forest cutting
Over fishing
Improved access and security at the Ramsar site• Weak policy framework and unsupportive economic environment for wetland biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
• Unco-ordinated sectoral approaches to wetland planning at national and regional level
• Inadequate information and awareness base on which to base wetland policy, planning and management decisions.
 Lack of provincial level plan to resettle inward migrants outside the Ramsar site
• Weak policy framework and unsupportive economic environment for wetland biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
Illegal exploitation activities:
Fish bombing
Lack of enforcement of laws.• Inadequate human and technical resources available for wetland biodiversity conservation
Electro-fishing
Blocking rivers
Collection of wildlife
Lack of understanding of the global importance of the biodiversity in the region• Inadequate information and awareness base on which to base wetland policy, planning and management decisions.
 Blocking of rivers• Weak policy framework and unsupportive economic environment for wetland biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
 Local people have no incentives for wise-use of the resources • Lack of options over use of resources by local people
Threats to DolphinsLack of plan and action for dolphin protection • Weak policy framework and unsupportive economic environment for wetland biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
 Lack of understanding global significance• Inadequate information and awareness base on which to base wetland policy, planning and management decisions.