Target: Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, Cambodian Minister of the Interior
Goal: Stop a road project from destroying a precious forest that is home to a variety of endangered species.
A protected forest full of endangered species is in jeopardy from a proposed plan to construct a road and border crossing through this critical habitat. Twenty-three endangered species live within the forest and this road project will simply create more of a risk for illegal logging, poaching, and wildlife trade. The road will not benefit local communities or the economy. It is time to speak up against this invasive road and border crossing development project.
Located in western Cambodia, Mondulkiri Protected Forest is one of the most biologically diverse regions in Southeast Asia. Many countries have donated millions of dollars to keep this area protected. Banteng cattle, the giant ibis bird, the Siamese crocodile, the silvered langur monkey, and the elongated tortoise are just a few endangered species that rely on the Mondulkiri forest for special habitat.
Forests in Cambodia are struggling. The country’s forest cover has declined significantly in the past few decades. In 1973, forest cover in the country was at 72 percent but has decreased to less than 48 percent. Due to this, there is a lack of habitat for wildlife, putting great stress on these precious creatures.
Mondulkiri Protected Forest borders three Vietnamese provinces and the development project hopes to create a 24-mile asphalt road through it to a checkpoint at the Vietnamese and Cambodian border. Twelve miles of the road will cross through a special ecosystem zone that was once designated for a tiger reintroduction program. To achieve a successful tiger population, habitat cannot be fragmented. This project will reverse all the efforts put forth to create this protected area.
There are already four other border checkpoints that exist along the border of Cambodia and Vietnam. This new border checkpoint will simply create more damage than benefit. The closest village is nearly 10 miles away, so the project does not provide any advantage to local residents. The only thing that this project will do will make access to the forest easier for destructive activities.
Construction for the project has not started yet so we must make our voice heard before a final decision is made. By signing this petition, you are urging the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia to deny the request to develop a road and border crossing in this ecologically-rich forest.
Dear Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng,
The Mondulkiri Protected Forest is a rich and pristine area in western Cambodia. The forest is home to a variety of endangered species such as the giant ibis bird, the Siamese crocodile, the silvered langur monkey, the elongated tortoise, and Banteng cattle. These species should be protected from development and land invasion. Their habitat is crucial and the proposed road and border crossing project puts these special species in jeopardy.
There has been a huge decrease in forest cover in Cambodia in the past few decades. The province where Mondulkiri Protected Forest is located has lost about 36,300 hectares of tree cover from 2001 to 2013–a drastic decline. This development project will simply destroy more tree cover in the province. The road will fragment wildlife habitat and create an easy access for illegal poachers and loggers. Please deny the request to develop an asphalt road and border crossing in this protected area. I urge you to protect Cambodia’s wildlife and natural forests.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Day Donaldson