The Annotated Ramsar List: Cambodia

12/11/2012

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

CAMBODIA / CAMBODGE / CAMBOYA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Cambodia on 23 October 1999. Cambodia presently has 3 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 54,600 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Boeng Chhmar and Associated River System and Floodplain. 23/06/99; Kampong Thom, Siem Reap provinces; 28,000 ha; 12º48'20"N 104º16'55"E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A lake formed amid inundated forest in the northeast fringe of Tonle Sap lake, consisting of permanent open water surrounded by a creek system and flooded forest which becomes one with Tonle Sap in the wet season. The site is a good example of near-natural wetlands that play a substantial hydrological and biological role in the natural functioning of two major rivers, Stoeng Stoung and Stoeng Chikreng. The area supports a large assemblage of plant, fish and waterbird species, many of which are listed as rare, vulnerable, or endangered, including the Siamese Crocodile Crocodylus siamensis, Mekong Giant Catfish Pangasianodon gigas and Giant Barb Catlocarpio siamensis. The site regularly supports more than 20,000 individuals of a number of large waterbird species on an annual basis. The Tonle Sap region plays a vital role in Cambodia’s economy by supplying fish to the population, and several million people depend upon its productivity. The population in the Ramsar Site increased by 37% from 1998 to 2003, leading to increased pressure on fish resources and wood collection, with more frequent dry season fires, all of which are affecting the site’s ecological character, turning the forest to grasslands and shrublands. However, efforts to manage these pressures continue with the creation a management plan and fish sanctuaries covering part of the Ramsar Site. Ramsar site no. 997. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Koh Kapik and Associated Islets. 23/06/99; Koh Kong province; 12,000 ha; 11º28'00''N 103º04'00''E. Wildlife Sanctuary. Alluvial islands immediately off the mainland of Koh Kong Province. Two major rivers flowing into the area bring a freshwater influence and create sand flats in some places. The site consists of two main wetland types, estuarine waters, and intertidal mud, sand or salt flats, and the extensive mangrove stand is representative of a still-functioning mangrove habitat/ecosystem in the Gulf of Thailand and the Indochina Mangroves ecoregion. The area plays a critical role in providing a nutrient source supporting coastal fishery in the near-shore and offshore waters of Cambodia, and it is home to globally threatened bird and mammal species such as the critically endangered Giant Ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea) and the endangered Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) and Indochinese Silvered Langur (Trachypithecus germaini). Much of the degraded mangrove area has been replanted through coordinated efforts of the agencies and local communities in the area. At present, restoration efforts are being done as a positive step toward sustainable use and ecological protection through local area resource management. Ramsar site no. 998. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Middle Stretches of the Mekong River north of Stoeng Treng. 23/06/99; Stoeng Treng; 14,600 ha; 13°44’04’’N 106°00’00’’E. National Protected Area. A 40km stretch of the Mekong River in the north of Cambodia characterized by strong turbulent flow with numerous channels between rocky and sandy islands that are completely inundated during high water, with higher alluvial islands that remain dry. It lies about 5km from the town of Stoeng Treng where the Se Kong river joins the Mekong river and 4 km south from the border with Laos. The site is home to a breeding population of the critically endangered White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni). The extensive and largely undisturbed channel islands provide important refuge and a food source for fish species during times of high flows, while the area’s deep pools allow refuge for aquatic species, including the critically endangered Giant Mekong Catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) and the vulnerable Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris). The site faces a number of significant threats such as an expanding infrastructure network, a market-driven agricultural increase of cash crop and logging activities that are reducing the forest, and the omnipresent threat of dams, particularly those upstream, but seven dams have also been proposed for the mainstream of the Mekong within Cambodia. Ramsar site no. 999. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

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