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Kratie Province, Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a global biodiversity hotspot, home to many globally endangered wildlife, such as Giant Ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and Banteng (Bos javanicus). Being depicted as the “Serengeti of Asia”, the deciduous dipterocarp forest (DDF) of eastern Cambodia is the largest intact block of dry forest in Southeast Asia, holding great biodiversity that attracts the focus of much conservation attention in recent years. 

In the 1970s, over 70% of Cambodia was covered by natural forest, but this figure has plummeted to less than 50%. The proliferation of Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) is regarded as one of the major drivers of deforestation in recent years. Under the ELC policy, domestic and international investors are granted permissions to clear large tracts of natural forest for agroindustry. This practice has drawn a lot of criticisms due to the impacts on biodiversity, environment and local livelihoods. In 2017, Kadoorie Conservation China Department was invited by the Hainan Provincial Department of Agriculture to provide input for biodiversity conservation for Chinese-owned ELCs in Cambodia. We are working with an ELC in Kratie Province of eastern Cambodia to explore innovative, practical and sustainable agriculture development that preserves the biodiversity value of the site, hoping to develop a model for other ELCs.

Read more:

1. China Eco Tales: The Secret CamboDIARY Vol. 1