Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New cultural heritage sites identified in protected areas

New cultural heritage sites identified in protected areas

Environment minister Say Samal and culture minister Phoeurng Sackona during the presentation of the newly identified cultural heritage sites on August 17. MOE
Environment minister Say Samal and culture minister Phoeurng Sackona during the presentation of the newly identified cultural heritage sites on August 17. MOE

New cultural heritage sites identified in protected areas

In a significant revelation, Cambodia has unearthed an additional 27 heritage sites within its 73 natural protected areas, a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, as well as the Ministry of Environment.

These discoveries hold profound historical significance, shedding light on the essence of the Khmer people and their culture.

The unveiling of these newfound heritage sites took place during an August 17 event, where a cultural heritage map of protected areas was unveiled at the environment ministry’s headquarters.

During the ceremony, culture minister Phoeurng Sackona extended her appreciation and admiration for the work undertaken by her ministry in safeguarding these invaluable heritage sites. She underlined the significance of this recent discovery, highlighting its role as a testament to the history, civilisation, culture and ancestral spirit of the Khmer people during the prehistoric era.

Seng Saot, deputy head of the General Department of Natural Protected Areas at the environment ministry, underscored the importance of these achievements for Cambodian society as a whole.

He emphasised that the preservation of natural resources, combined with the safeguarding of cultural heritage, has been made possible through long-term initiatives and strategies developed by the leaders of the culture and environment ministries, who have been closely collaborating in this endeavour.

The environment ministry confirmed that its working group successfully identified an additional 27 heritage sites within the protected areas. Notably, these sites were distinct from those encompassed by the Angkor Archaeological Park, the Preah Vihear Temple landscape area, and Sambor Prei Kuk Temple Zone, as these archaeological sites were under the jurisdiction of separate administrative units.

The joint efforts of the two ministries led to the discovery of these cultural heritage sites within the Jayavarman-Norodom Phnom Kulen National Park. This accomplishment is rooted in the achievements of the government, which established 23 natural protected areas through a royal decree dated November 1, 1993.

However, Cambodia’s engagement with natural protected areas and heritage sites predates this, with the Angkor Archaeological Park being designated as a national park in 1925 – a historic milestone not only for Cambodia but also for Southeast Asia as a whole.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.