Accelerating levels of economic development bring increased challenges for conservation across the region. Increased access provided by new roads and a lack of land and resource tenure has resulted in an uncontrolled influx of non-locals opportunistically cutting, clearing and claiming land. This has lead to rapid forest loss outside the SPF and reduces the livelihood security of the indigenous communities, increasing their reliance on an ever shrinking resource base.
Large-scale clearance of forest for the creation of plantation crops such as rubber is occurring widely in Cambodia. Parts of other protected areas have been degazetted to make way for these crops, and this may too threaten the SPF in future. The growth of the Cambodian extractive industries could have negative impacts on the area. Several mining exploration licences overlap with the SPF. Mitigation of negative impacts will be a high priority if these proceed to exploitation.
Similarly demand from outside markets has caused formerly low intensity subsistence activities such as hunting, fishing and timber harvesting to increase dramatically, thereby threatening the resources themselves. Illegal hunting, logging and unsustainable non-timber forest product extraction threatens the wildlife populations and the livelihoods of the indigenous communities in the area.
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