The ProjectCambodia’s wetlands are some of the world’s most valuable ecosystems, supporting a wealth of endangered bird, fish and plant species and providing a vital source of food and income for vulnerable rural communities. But in just 15 years, half of Cambodia’s wetlands have disappeared.
This project will restore two globally important protected areas in the Lower Mekong Delta, which support half the regional population of the Sarus Crane – the world’s tallest flying bird and an iconic flagship species of open wetlands. Agricultural encroachment, invasive species and the overharvesting of wetland resources have led to a dramatic decline in the Sarus Crane population, and without urgent action to restore its habitat, the regional population will be lost forever. The project will restore 200 hectares of degraded habitat by working with local communities to clear invasive species, and will educate 1000 local people and schoolchildren on the importance of wetlands and the sustainable use of natural resources. The project will also provide training and support to a community ecotourism initiative, enabling it to provide inspiring outdoor experiences for a growing number of visitors and increase income by 25%, generating much-needed funds for community development and wetland conservation.