The Seima Protection Forest (SPF) is located in eastern Cambodia, along the border with Viet Nam. The total area of the SPF is 2,926 km2. The project site was first identified in 2000, after surveys by WCS and the Royal Government of Cambodia highlighted a forest concession in the east of the country as one of the most important sites for wildlife conservation in Cambodia.
Logging operations were subsequently suspended, and in 2002 it was declared the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area. The legal status was upgraded in August 2009 with the signing of a Prime Ministerial Decree that classified the site as a Protection Forest. A long-term collaborative project was launched by the Forestry Administration (FA) and WCS in 2002 to develop the SPF as a landscape where conservation can be integrated with the needs of local communities and national development goals.
Over fifty staff work on the program. The FA program manager and his deputy manage three teams: law enforcement, community engagement and research. Most staff are from the government, particularly from the FA, but also including members of the Departments of Agriculture and Land Management, as well as some non-government individuals and members of several local communities. WCS provides technical support through specialists in monitoring, natural resource management and law enforcement.
The project works with several other local partners including the Cambodian NGOs Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT), Agriculture Technology Services Association (ATSA), Sam Vaesna Center (SVC), ELIE and My Village.
Support has been provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Danish International Development Agency (Danida), the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation (LCAOF), the MacArthur Foundation, Panthera, New Zealand Aid, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Department for International Development (DfID), and WCS Trustees Eleanor Briggs and Elyssa.