Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry wants dolphin areas on UNESCO list



Ministry wants dolphin areas on UNESCO list

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Dolphins at Prek Kampi in Kratie Province. Heng Chivoan

Ministry wants dolphin areas on UNESCO list

The Ministry of Environment has been tasked with compiling data on four areas that are home to Irrawaddy dolphins in Kratie and Preah Vihear provinces.

The report is in preparation for possible inclusion on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said Cambodia is already recognised by UNESCO for cultural heritage, including Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear Temple and the Sambor Prei Kuk temple group, along with other intangible cultural treasures.

“Cambodia doesn’t only have Prek Kampi which is an Irrawaddy dolphin conservation area that we have studied and documented for UNESCO. We have four places we have studied and documented in preparation for being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Pheaktra said.

The four areas are Prek Kampi dolphin Conservation Area, Prek Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Tbeng Natural Heritage site and Tmat Boey Natural Tourism Community.

Pheaktra said there are only three countries in the world that are home to the Irrawaddy dolphin and Cambodia has the most. Cambodia has 92 Irrawaddy dolphins. Indonesia and Burma have around 60.

He said Cambodia has taken another step in compiling a list of natural potential areas to prepare for the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the last 20 years, the number of Cambodian Irrawaddy dolphins is estimated to have increased by 13 to 18.

Pheaktra said once the documentation is complete and submitted to UNESCO, he hopes it will help protect and conserve dolphin areas and attract domestic and international tourists.

According to a World Wildife Fund (WWF) report, Irrawaddy dolphins or Mekong dolphins live in three major river systems and two lakes around the world.

These include the Mekong River in Cambodia, the Mhakam River in Indonesia, the Ayeyawaddy River in Burma, the Sungkla River in Thailand and the Chilika Lake in India.

WWF said the Irrawaddy dolphin is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. It is also classified as one of the 58 endangered fishery species in the Royal Government’s Sub-Decree No123 dated on August 12, 2009.

“The total number of Mekong dolphins has started to increase from 80 in 2015 to 92 in 2017. This historic increase is the result of effective law enforcement that has been implemented by a total of 72 river guards,” WWF said.

WWF, in collaboration with the fisheries administration, plans to release the estimated number of Irrawaddy dolphin in October.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to