WCS works with the Government of Cambodia in two protected areas in the Northern Plains landscape, as part of the Conservation Areas Through Landscape Management (CALM) Project. This is a seven year UNDP/GEF-supported initiative aimed at conserving the globally important biodiversity found in the Northern Plains.
The Northern Plains of Cambodia are the largest remaining intact block of a unique landscape that once covered much of Indochina. The landscape is one of the most spectacular and important areas of south-east Asia for biodiversity, with over 260 bird species and large mammals such as Asian elephants, gaur and banteng. Local communities, who depend on rain-fed paddy or upland rice fields for their livelihoods, supplement these activities with small-scale animal raising and collection of non-timber forest products.
Wildlife and natural resources in the Northern Plains landscape face a number of growing threats, ranging from small-scale incidents of hunting or land clearance by local people, to large-scale commercial pressures such as mineral exploitation.
Government agencies and WCS are working in close partnership to eliminate or mitigate these threats. These activities have focused on the development and testing of certain key conservation approaches, such as community land-use tenure, community contracts and incentives for biodiversity supportive, whilst simultaneously strengthening the capacity for biodiversity management by government agencies.