The government has issued a sub-decree establishing the Tuolporn Taley Boeung Sne Multiple Use Area covering 3,557ha in one town and three districts of Prey Veng province.
The sub-decree’s stated purpose is to ensure the preservation of the natural beauty, ecology, biodiversity, environment and culture while providing products and natural services for sustainable use as well as maintaining environmental balance and conserving natural resources in Prey Veng town, Ba Phnom, Peamro and Svay Ontor districts.
The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 5 and seen by The Post on February 16, additionally states that the government wishes to increase the role of the ecological system in providing benefits to society for future generations, ensure the wise use of wetlands, and to enhance the participation of the public and the local communities in the management, protection and preservation of the biodiversity and natural resources within this newly established multiple use area.
In a Facebook post on February 16, the Ministry of Environment said the Tuolporn Taley Boeung Sne Multiple Use Area can provide ecological system services and abundant natural resources in support of the local community’s development.
It said water is available from the lake in every season for agricultural crops and daily use by the community. There are also many species of important fish for people to catch and places to relax in addition to the lake’s historical significance linked to the belief in “Neak Ta Porn Taley”.
Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the ministry will work with the local communities to prepare a management and preservation plan for the newly established area with the goal of protecting it while developing eco-tourism to improve the community’s economic prospects.
“We will have a community plan and we will be recruiting rangers to station here and patrol the area in order to prevent any land grabs or the destruction of bird habitat because there are many species of birds here that can attract tourists,” he said.
Chea Chamroeun, director of the NGO Save Environment and Agriculture, supports the creation of the area, saying the government is trying to create a development model for the next generation that includes environmental protections because the erosion of the environment is a growing danger.
“It is a new model that our country, our region and the world must use, or else [environmental] erosion will just continue to get worse,” he said.
Chamroeun added that the younger generation too often forgets the importance of protecting the environment and biodiversity and spends too much time dreaming about how to become millionaires.