Source: Khmer Times
An ecotourism site in Mondulkiri province has been shortlisted alongside four other countries for a $35,000 award from the European Outdoor Conservation Association.
Olly Griffin, a technical adviser with the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Jahoo Gibbon Camp in the province’s Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, said the award would be a big boost to maintain the tourism site.
“If the project wins the vote, the funds will used to support Ministry of Environment ranger patrols around Andong Kraloeng where Jahoo Gibbon Camp is located, and to support gibbon habituation at the community ecotourism project,” Mr Olly said.
Mr Olly said that the Jahoo Gibbon Camp project staff would also benefit directly from capacity-building and from payments to the gibbon habituation team, as well as from a study trip to another successful ecotourism project to allow them to share ideas and experiences.
Jahoo Gibbon Camp was established in 2014 to provide a sustainable income for local people and to encourage understanding of the need for intact forests and ecosystems around the village.
This community-led ecotourism project is centred round a forest camp from which visitors conduct primate and bird watching walks in the beautiful surrounding forest.
“Wildlife sanctuaries are very important to help protect Cambodia’s unique and important wildlife, forests, and ecosystems,” Mr Olly said.
“Cambodia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, and if protected areas are not well funded and supported, the communities in and around them who have relied on natural resources will lose their livelihoods, as well as cultural links to nature.”