The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) is run by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of the Environment with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) providing technical and financial support through the sale of carbon credits.
WCS is an NGO founded in 1895 it was one of the first conservation societies within the US. Their ultimate goal is to conserve the world’s wild place within 14 priority regions across the globe.
We assist governments and communities to protect the natural systems critical to saving wildlife and wild places, securing valuable flows of ecosystems services and local livelihoods based on principles of social and environmental sustainability.
Positive for Earth
The largest threat driving deforestation in Cambodia is land clearance for cash crops namely palm oil and soya. KSWS sits at a frontier with an area of land that was not protected and has been extensively cleared. There is also a great deal of illegal wildlife poaching and timber felling for rare tree species.
The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 950 species, including 75 globally threatened species. The biodiversity reporting of the project is world class and in the second quarter of 2020 it was reported that the project area has the highest number of wildlife reported in any Cambodian protected area.
The project area borders a 150,000ha park that has been completely deforested in recent years however since 2010 the project has successfully managed to halt most if not all deforestation in the area with 25,000ha of deforestation avoided since 2010.
The project is also part of Cambodia’s first data-driven zonation process for protected areas. This process takes into account more than 40 spatial data layers, which helps provide objective and robust decision support for long term land use planning and sustainable protected area management. This will help ensure the long term protection of the project area and reduce further deforestation.
Positive for People
The project has so far secured the first ever legal land tenure in Cambodia. In total the project has been able to secure seven Indigenous Community Land Titles for Bunong communities within the project area, with 6 more under review by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and 4 additional in process.
An ecotourism venture has also been started through WCS’s support. The Jahoo Gibbon Camp is a community-run ecotourism project, which now brings in more than $14,000 annually in community income. The park entrance fees used to support management, and community development funds.
Over the lifetime of the project, 12,763 community members have received training on a wide range of sustainable natural resource management skills (including non-timber forest product collection and bamboo harvesting), ecotourism service provision, and community patrol team skills. In Q1 2020 alone, 20 villages in and around the site were provided resources and support to enforce their legal right to patrol and protect resources within their indigenous lands.