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Phnom Penh – Members of working group for zonation of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) received the first capacity building on “Process and Procedure of Zonation and Management Plan for KSWS” after the group was formed in August last year.
Funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and co-organized by the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and WCS, the two-day training, commencing on March 28, aimed to provide participants with knowledge on guidelines and basic technical skills, procedures, methods and tools of the zonation and the spatial planning concept for protected areas, and sharing experiences on the methodology of zonation of Kulen Promtep wildlife and sanctuaries.
In his opening remarks, H.E Roth Virak, MoE’s Secretary of State, said that zoning the conservation areas was very important for all conservationists and it needed to be carried out thoroughly. “Sharing experience today is a foundation, a lesson contributing to the leadership of the MoE as a whole to consider extending to the other areas,” he said.
H.E Nhorn Sith, Mondulkiri Provincial Deputy Governor, said in his speech that KSWS was at the moment under threat which was resulted from an illegal increase in new settlements of migrants, land clearance for agriculture and possession, deforestation, wildlife hunting, and fishing, etc.
“These practices affect biodiversity, natural resources and the livelihoods of local communities and indigenous people who live on natural resources in the area, especially the REDD+ of the KSWS. Because most indigenous people live in and do traditional farming within the KSWS, in which consultation on zoning with them is needed to ensure land ownership and effective participation,” he said.
Dr. Ken Sereyrotha, Country Program Director for WCS, proposed that the participants focused on the procedure and process of collecting inputs and uses them as a basis of preparing a draft on zonation of KSWS.
WCS are using an innovative computer assisted multiple-criteria analysis process using spatial data to support zoning decisions to balance a number of objectives such as meeting national policy targets, achieving biodiversity conservation, supporting community livelihoods, protecting cultural heritage, and natural resource management. The process will include community input through consultation and participatory mapping exercises and results shared to receive feedback from local communities, related provincial/National departments, and other stakeholders”, he said.
“This is a consultation to get inputs at the sub-national level. Inputs from a national consultation will be collected to complement the draft before submitting it to the Ministry for review,” Dr. Sereyrotha said.
There were 43 participants attending the training. They included commune chiefs, district and provincial officials from Mundolkiri and Kratie, WCS staff and technical officials from the MoE.