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Our work in Cambodia

Engaging Media In Wetlands Reporting

May 2006, Phnom Penh

Through two-way communication, MWBP aims to build proactive and mutually beneficial working relationship that may contribute to the programme achieving its goals and vision. As part of this work, the MWBP Cambodia hosted an interactive media meeting for journalists in Phnom Penh, chaired by His Excellency Lonh Heal, Director General of Technical Affair, Ministry of Environment and National Programme Director of MWBP.


White Shouldering Ibis Under Threat!
April 2006, Stung Treng Province

A recent biodiversity survey in the MWBP Demonstration site of Stung Treng Ramsar (March 2006) found that the White Shouldered Ibis is the most endangered species in the area and urgently requires attention to ensure the species does not become extinct.

The following paper was prepared by Cambodian experts to raise the awareness about the threats to the White Shouldered Ibis.

DOWNLOAD PAPER (Khmer language) >

Cambodian National Steering Committee to be formed
Phnom Penh , 22 February 2006

The Senior Minister and the Minister of Environment have called a meeting to form the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Mekong Wetlands Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) in Cambodia. The Senior Minister, Dr Mok Mareth will chair the meeting at Ministry of Environment on 22 February 2006.

Download a list of the key ministries invited to join the NSC, meeting observers and agenda >

World Wetlands Day 2006
Phnom Penh, 2 February 2006

World Wetlands Day was celebrated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 2 February 2006 at Chhroy Changva Garden, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh. The event is organised by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Mlup Baitong and supported by the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP)*.

There are four main activities organised for the event this year:
1. Speeches by senior policy makers from Ministries concerned, academics, NGOs and donor agencies;
2. Comedian performance about wetlands management in Cambodia;
3. Exhibition of wetlands activities from local and international NGOs; and
4. Boat parade conducted by fisher communities.

To find out more about the celebrations please download the files below.





Cambodia National Mekong Committee >
Phnom Penh Municipality >
MWBP National Programme Director >
Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology >
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries >
Ministry of Environment >

New Fishing Ground Discovered for Endangered Mekong Giant Catfish
December 2005, Kampong Cham Province Cambodia

The Department of Fisheries Cambodia and the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) announced that they have discovered a significant and previously unidentified fishing ground for the critically endangered Mekong Giant Catfish. The fishing ground, located along the Mekong River in Kampong Cham Province, has produced five Mekong giant catfish in the past two years and four in the last month – equal to the harvest from the other identified fishing grounds in Cambodia and in the Golden Triangle area of Thailand and Laos.

The catches also support the hypothesis that Mekong giant catfish move up the Mekong to spawn. “We are considering tagging the fish to track them to their spawning grounds,” said Dr. Zeb Hogan, a fisheries biologist with the MWBP.

The Department of Fisheries requires that fishers immediately release Mekong giant catfish after capture. All fish except one seem to have survived capture and release. The MWBP and the Department of Fisheries are working with fishers so that they report the catch of Mekong giant catfish. The new programme may be one reason for the high reported catch of Mekong giant catfish this month.  

World’s First Freshwater Conservation Concession Established to Protect “King of Fish”

December 2005, Cambodia

Cambodian Department of Fisheries and the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) have formed a partnership to create the world’s first freshwater conservation concession.

Recently pioneered as an innovative means to protect endangered species, the freshwater conservation concession is designed to reduce the exploitation rate of fisheries by obtaining the commercial rights to fishing in a specified area. In this case, these fishing rights have become limited fishing rights – the option to alter or cease commercial fishing in favor of research and conservation.

The concession has been established as the first step in a new effort to study and protect Cambodia’s freshwater biodiversity, including Earth’s largest freshwater fish the Mekong giant catfish. The Mekong giant catfish, also known as the “King of Fish” in Khmer language, is Southeast Asia’s largest and rarest fish. It can grow up to three meters in length and attain a weight of nearly 300 kilograms. The Mekong giant catfish is listed as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Ramsar Rangers Training

26-27 September 2005, Stung Treng Province

The second training course on environmental law and regulations related to natural resource management for Ramsar rangers was held in Stung treng Province on 26-27 September 2005. The training was funded by the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme (MWBP) and the lead agency was the Provincial Department of Environment.

Thirty-nine participants attended the training to:
  • Build the capacity of Ramsar rangers on law related to natural resources conservation and the laws regarding use of guns in Cambodia.
  • Gain knowledge about the process for arresting and detaining at thedemonstration site.
  • Improve the effectiveness of work cooperation and responsibility between different agencies.
Evaluation forms regarding the methodology, understanding, facilitation and comments for improving the next training were completed. The results of training evaluation were good understanding 26%, fair 53%, and average 21%. All participants said the methodology and facilitation were good. Participants want the next training to be longer.

Participants thought the training was very important and all were interested and had many questions. The facilitators gave many examples of illegal activities and implement of the law in Cambodia to share and explain to participants clearly in the training course. All acquired knowledge should enable participants to more effectively implement environmental laws and regulations related to natural resource management of the Ramsar site in Stung Treng.

Training of Trainers (ToT)

13-16 September 2005, Siem Reap Province

This ToT course aimed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to deliver and develop training courses on participatory natural resources management. The ToT was hosted by the MWBP and the Capacity Building for Sustainablity in Tonle Sap Region Programme. Thirty-three participants attended the training, which used a mix of group work, presentations and games. Sessions included: How To Be a Good Facilitor; What is Learning?; and Conflict Management. For more information, or the full report, please contact Mr Mao Kosal, National Communications and Training Coordinator, email: [email protected]

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) workshop

29 Aug – 2 Sept 2005, Stung Treng Province

This workshop was designed to provide participants with a good knowledge and understanding of the nature and requirements of the EIA process and the potential impacts of development projects, in order to assist government officials and line department and NGO staff to participate effectively in any EIAs undertaken in Stung Treng, commune officials to understand how development projects may affect their communes and how to participate in EIAs, and local businesses to be aware of their EIA responsibilities.

Field trips were made to two locations – Chrop village, the site of a proposed land concession for planting Acacia trees, and to O Pong Mon, through which the newly-constructed Kratie-Stung Treng road passes. The purposes of the visits were to find out the villagers' concerns about these projects and to hear of any environmental impacts arising from them.

The workshop was attended by a large number of participants from diverse backgrounds – high government officials, district officials, line department chiefs and staff, commune council officials, NGO staff, and local businesses. Thus, there is now a good awareness at many levels in Stung Treng of what EIA is, when and how it is done, who does it and how it contributes to the development and planning process. The field trips and the subsequent analysis of the information collected and provided good first-hand experience of development impacts and the concerns of villagers. All acquired knowledge should enable participants to contribute more effectively to EIAs done in the province.

Sala Phoum Researchers Training

Stung Treng Ramsar site
6-8 August 2005

A Thai Baan training workshop was held in the villages of Koh Sneng and Koh Lgnor of the Stung Treng MWBP Demonstration Site from 6-8 August 2005. Thai Baan research teams from Salaveen and Songkhram River, Thailand visited Cambodia to provide the methodology for the research assistants in four villages of Koh Kadin, Koh Sneng, Voeun Sien and Kok Lgnor. Research was conducted on fish, plant and herb species that the local communities collect and use for construction, fuel wood, food and medicine. Participants from the four villages had discussed and decided upon the list of fish and plants species through group discussion and field work in the areas close to the workshop venues. The full list of these plants and fish are in local Khmer and Lao language, and will be provided with the full Sala Phoum Researchers Training Workshop Report which will be available at a later date. The training workshop lasted for three days with the work plan development for next step taking place on the third day.

The Culture and Environment Preservation Association (CEPA) has been contracted to conduct the Sala Phoum research with Thai Baan researcersh providing technical support to CEPA till the end of this 2005.

Sala Phoum
Stung Treng, March 2005

The Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Programme (MWBP) is planning to undertake an ambitious, village-based research study into the river's biological and adjacent land-based resources at its demonstration site in Stung Treng, Cambodia (also a Ramsar site).  The investigations and findings will depend primarily on the villagers' own research efforts and their existing knowledge. 


World Wetlands Day
February 2005, Phnom Penh and Stung Treng Province

In Phnom Penh, WWD was celebrated with approximately 500 participants including His Excellency Tan Vutha, Secretary of State of Ministry of Environment, and other officials, students from private and official universities, Buddhist Monks, local communities and authorities, relevant government agencies such as the Ministries of Women’s Affairs, Tourism, Public Works and Transportation, Land Management, Urbanization and Construction, as well as from international and local NGO's. The celebration, held at the Royal University, consisted of speeches, a short video, and a participatory “Smart Game”. In addition there was also a mini exhibit of displays, street banners, and other publicity on national radio and TV.

World Wetlands Day was celebrated on 4 February 2005 at the Ramsar Site at O'Svay commune in the Thalaborivat district of Stoeng Treng province, Cambodia. This was the second year that it had been celebrated in Stoeng Treng. The aim of the WWD activities was to raise the awareness of local people, inter-governmental institutions and civil society, on the values and functions of wetlands and the importance of conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in and around the Stoeng Treng Ramsar site. A total of 1,335 persons, including representatives from the provincial line departments of Stoeng Treng, NGOs, police, military, teachers, students, commune councils, commune and border police, border customs, Ramsar site rangers, community fishery and forestry committees, monks and local villagers, participated in the activities.