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The local newspapers in Cambodia, such as Cambodia Daily and the Phnom Penh Post, are great sources for keeping track of what’s going on with the big mining companies operating in the Kingdom of Wonder.
See here for a list of relevant and recent archives:
July 2017: Angkor Gold, Emerald ink earn-in agreement
February 2017: Gold Mine Firms Pitch Happy Future, But Civil Society Wary
February 2017: Gold Mines, NGOs Fight Over the Treasures of Mondolkiri
STUDY ON WATERSHEDS PLACEHOLDER (PLUS DOWNLOAD OPTION)
Forest protection in upper catchments is critical for securing clean and safe water, plus providing a regular supply of water flows. The objective of this study is to examine the three watersheds from the Eastern Plain Landscape of Cambodia and to show the type of ecosystem services and economic value that they provide to downstream stakeholders and users. It should present the biophysical link between forest cover and watershed protection services.
Objective of the study:
• to convince government officials about the economic importance to protect upstream ecosystems and to ensure optimised watershed management
• to identify powerful downstream users (economically, socially and politically) that can support advocacy work for the protection of upstream ecosystems
The Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary (PPWS) covers an area of 2,220km², located within the heart of the EPL. This management plan will be a key component within the Mondulkiri Spatial Plan. Effective management of the PPWS is critically linked to the wider landscape across the north east of Cambodia.
As part of the Cambodian National Spatial Planning Policy (2011), the provincial administration of Mondulkiri is committed to initiate and coordinate a spatial planning process. The objective of the provincial spatial plan is to have a vision-oriented plan that would provide direction for the spatial development of the province and will ensure a sustainable development pathway that balances economic efficiency, social justice, environmental sustainability and cultural identity.
At the heart of the spatial plan will be the effective management of the key EPL protected areas including PPWS, plus the corridors that link them. Adjacent to these key biodiversity areas will be the productive agricultural and economic development areas that will be sustained by the environmental services provided by the protected areas.
The mining concessions are predominately located within protected areas and/or critical biological corridors connecting six protected areas in Cambodia (Srepok, Phnom Prich, Keo Seima, Phnom Nam lyr, Lomphat and Oyadao). Four crucial areas of protected area connectivity (biological corridors) have been identified and recognised for their significant contribution to biodiversity conservation of globally threatened species by the Royal Government of Cambodia within PPWS Management Plan. These corridors support vital pathways used by globally endangered Asian elephants, dholes, banteng and Cambodia’s last viable population of leopards. In addition, some buffer zones surrounding protected areas provide suitable nesting or foraging habitat for five critically endangered bird species. Having mining projects in these locations would result in habitat loss and would fragment these critically important areas that provide essential tracts of land and connectivity.
Development projects can have a significant impact by driving deforestation and facilitating access for illegal hunting and poaching. Several studies suggest that drilling sites, roads and infrastructure negatively impact wildlife habitat selection and behavior, even resulting in avoidance of particular areas. There is also evidence that industrial goldmines have resulted in deforestation, social conflict and environmental degradation, as well as direct hazards from using cyanide, cadmium and other chemicals associated with gold deposits that can be released into the environment during mining and mineral processing.
Experience and concrete examples show that development projects, roads and increased infrastructure within forested landscapes facilitate illegal trade. Increasing accessibility to the proposed site location would make it easier for illegal timber and wildlife products to be tracked out of the protected areas and effective law enforcement to mitigate these threats would be prohibitively expensive.
The mining industry relies heavily on the ecosystem services provided by these protected areas, such as minerals, ecological bene ts, river transportation and watershed functions. Through degradation of watershed functions (e.g. soil erosion, river pollution, damage to aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, and river sedimentation a ecting water supplies and the shery sector) and destruction of natural forests resulting in biodiversity loss and carbon emissions, this industry is degrading the very functions on which it relies.