Cambodia’s Royal Government’s Council of Ministers has declared the creation of the Seima Protection Forest, a 1,100 square miles (2,849 square kilometers) park home to tigers, elephants, and endangered primates. The park’s creation was developed in part by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) “Carbon for Conservation” program, which intends to protect high-biodiversity ecosystems while raising funds through carbon sequestration schemes such as Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).
“We 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.
View of the Seima Protection Forest. Photo courtesy of WCS.
WCS is working with Cambodian officials to measure the total carbon stocks contained within the Seima Protection Forest. In addition to massive amounts of stored carbon, the reserve is home to seven cat species, two bears, and two species of wild dog. Recently, scientists have also discovered a new species of bat and two new species of frog.
“In 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 global scales.”
WCS is pursuing similar projects to protect biodiversity and carbon in Bolivia, Guatemala, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Indonesia.
The Seima Protection Forest will remain open to local hunters and farmers from the Bunong ethnic minority.
Map of new reserve in Cambodia.
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