The Northern Plains Landscape is a network of three protected areas in Preah Vihear Province, the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS), Preah Roka Wildlife Sanctuary (PRWS) and Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS), collectively encompassing 534,839ha. Local communities primarily practice rain-fed paddy cultivation, some households also grow cash crops including cassava and cashew. Additional income is made through resin-tapping and other non timber forest products. Most of the Northern Plains landscape is dry deciduous forest, patches of evergreen forest and other forest types exist. Forests and agricultural areas are habitat for the critically endangered Giant Ibis (Pseudibis gigantean), three critically endangered vultures (White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Slenderbilled Vulture Gyps tenuirostrisand Red-necked Vulture Sarcogyps calvus) and a number of vulnerable and endangered species. To protect areas of high conservation value, local authorities and NGOs established wildlife friendly agriculture, payments for environmental services (PES) programs, ecotourism and land use planning. Large agricultural concessions exist in the area. With support from international donors, the Cambodian Government is upgrading road networks, providing isolated communities with improved access to markets for cash crops and high value timber.
Tanah Air Beta is collaborating with local conservation institutions to learn from the challenges of meeting the needs of local populations while conserving biodiversity and important wildlife habitat. We hope to draw insights on how local people can achieve their development aspirations while minimizing negative environmental impacts.