Ramsar Small Grants Fund project in Cambodia completed

The Small Grants Fund (SGF) project entitled ‘Strengthening and Expanding the Ramsar Site Network in Cambodia’ was executed by BirdLife Cambodia from February 2011 to September 2013 and contributed to strengthen the capacity of the government in terms of management and wise use of wetlands and to expand the national network of Ramsar Sites.

As part of the project, BirdLife assessed the management capacity and equipment needs of the Boeng Chhmar Ramsar Site and the proposed Site at Preak Toal. Ten priority topics were identified and used as reference for organizing trainings.

Picture taken during the waterbird count census training

The first training course organized in Battambamg Province had a total of 35 participants from the country’s three Ramsar Sites, Ko Kapik, Stung Treng and Boeng Chhmar and the proposed Ramsar Site at Preak Toal.  The course covered a wide range of topics such as law of protected areas, use of the legal system, procedure against violators, wetland ecology, monitoring and management plan and use of GPS, compass and map.

A second training course was organized for selected Ramsar Site managers and a senior technical officer from the Department of Wetlands and Coastal Zones with the objective of enhancing their skills in fund raising and writing funding proposals. A third training course, on conducting shorebird surveys, was organized for Ramsar Site monitoring officers and rangers.

Ramsar Site deputy managers, technical staff from the Department of Wetlands and Coastal Zones and rangers also met to develop a monitoring protocol. After the protocol was finalized, a four-day training was organized at the Boeng Chhmar Ramsar Site. A laptop with monitoring software was provided, which has enabled the Ramsar Administrative Authority (RAA) staff to prepare monthly reports for circulation to  stakeholders.

Installation of the sign board at Stung Treng Ramsar Site

During the project period, the Ramsar Information Sheets (RIS) of the existing Ramsar Sites were updated and sign boards advertising their listing under the Convention were installed at the entrance gates and in front of the office at each of the three Sites. The process of designating the Preak Toal Ramsar Site was delayed due to the review and revision of policies concerning fishing and land use rights by the Government of Cambodia.

Furthermore, a workshop was held to improve awareness and networking amongst Ramsar Site managers and NGOs and other organizations working in and around Ramsar Sites and other wetlands in Cambodia. About 30 NGOs and organizations participated and were able to introduce their work to the Ramsar Administrative Authority.

Full project report

Report by Samridhi Rijal, Ramsar Assistant Advisor for Asia
Photos by BirdLife

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