The USAID Greening Prey Lang Project recently presented its three month report for the year detailing how it has been supporting the government to promote community livelihoods, developing strategic plans for forests, recruiting community groups and training rangers.
According to a USAID Facebook post on Monday, the Greening Prey Lang Project has provided training to strengthen the capability of rangers in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, and conducted a training course on patrol techniques and law enforcement.
The USAID project offers training courses on creating tourism programmes. It also supports the community protected areas, installs boundary demarcation poles and supports the Forestry Administration to develop a strategic plan for the community forest and raise awareness of the ban on the drug diclofenac to protect endangered vultures.
For February, the project said it supported the government in recruiting community leaders for patrols as part of their engagement with rangers.
The project has supported the observation of the number of cranes in Preah Vihear province. It has also trained communities on the identification of key wildlife species and the importance of protecting biodiversity by facilitating workshops to develop annual planning agreements for tourism support in four provinces.
The report stated that in March, the project invited all relevant tourism stakeholders to introduce a new tour programme for the Prey Lang Extended Landscape, which introduced mobile data storage and demonstrates how to monitor conservation area management to the ministry and support tourism development and mapping.
In addition, the project supports agricultural cooperatives to profile community groups as well as agricultural cooperatives to help them meet local market needs, said USAID. The project will provide Smart Mobile training to rangers and the Prey Lang community as well.
Ministry secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on Thursday that the Greening Prey Lang Project, a collaboration between Cambodia and the US, aims to preserve and manage the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.
Some joint action projects are aimed at strengthening the role of the community in natural protection areas and the local communities to participate in the conservation of natural resources, boosting the local economy, increasing incomes, and stopping their dependence on traditional occupations.
Pheaktra said the project would prevent them from logging and hunting by participating in the creation of new businesses for community people. The project is also involved in collecting data on natural resources, as well as crime and crime prevention.
“The five-year project (2018 – 2023) provides positive results in managing and conserving natural resources and biodiversity in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary,” Pheaktra said.
However, Phork Hong, a representative of the Preah Vihear Prey Lang protected community, said Thursday that while her team also received support from the project, is it very little and cannot respond to the needs. For nearly two years, she received some money, but no other needed materials.
Hong said the money was promised by the project to conduct patrols three times a month. But it was so little that the money could not support forest patrol trips. She requested support for hiking equipment and more money to reduce the personal expenses of the community people.
“We experience a shortage of supplies, food and transportation during our patrols, and USAID money does not cover our expenses. We need to spend more on forest patrols, and in addition, there are many risks in the forest, ” Hong said.
The USAID Greening Prey Lang Project received a project implementation contract starting from August 2018, with a five-year extension of ongoing support from the US government to preserve Cambodia’s natural and cultural heritage while enhancing the lives of citizens in the countryside.
The programme works in priority protected areas, including Prey Lang, Prey Roka and Chheb.