Cardamom Mountains Conservation

To sustainably manage a protected area in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains


The remoteness of the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia's west, combined with Cambodia's civil war in recent decades, has until recently buffered the Cardamoms from inappropriate land use. Now, however, the surge in development, exacerbated by Asia's rapid economic growth, is placing increasing pressure on Cambodia's natural environments. This is placing the wildlife and habitats of the Cardamom Mountains at risk.


The programme's goal is the sustainable management of the 330 000 ha Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia.


So far, the programme's achievements include:


  • Increase in the number and size of Community Forests and Community Protected Areas from five (ca. 1800 ha) to more than 30 (> 90 000 ha).
  • Decrease in illegal logging in Phnom Samkos from 12 cases per month in 2004 to three per month in 2009.
  • Reduction in poaching of elephants for ivory, with zero deaths recorded in 2007 and 2008.
  • First field guide on Cambodian amphibians published.
  • Improved farming techniques resulted in increased rice and vegetable production, which lead to important decreases in forest clearing.
  • New species described, including the endemic green-blooded Samkos tree frog (Chiromantis samkosensis) and a new pitcher plant.


WAZA Conservation Project 10018 is implemented by Fauna & Flora International, with support provided by Zoos Victoria. Other stakeholders involved in the project include the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and the Cambodian Centre for Study & Development in Agriculture.




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