Working to protect Cambodia’s forests and wildlife
APFNet’s Transboundary Wildlife Conservation Initiative (@Wild) explores transboundary wildlife conservation opportunities in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In early 2020, APFNet launched the @Wild small grant project “Management and Protection of Choam Ksant Forest Landscape in Cambodia” to assess the status of forests and key wildlife species and investigate the impact of human activities on the forest ecosystem. Implemented by the National Forestry Administration of Cambodia, this one-year project was successfully completed in early 2021.
The Choam Ksant Forest Landscape (CKFL) is in northern Cambodia, sharing a border with Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. It is part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, one of the designated global diversity hotspots containing the most extensive remaining continuous natural forests. It is of exceptional global importance for biodiversity in Southeast Asia and is one of the most important biodiversity corridors in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
During the project, field surveys on the distribution of key wild fauna species and assessments of forest degradation and deforestation in CKFL were carried out. The project also investigated and analyzed the socioeconomic status of local communities living in CKFL. 
Wild fauna field survey training
Project studies reveal that from 2014 to 2020, CKFL lost 28,658 hectares of forest cover which accounts for about 7.6 percent of the total area.
Human activities such as excessive reclamation of agricultural land, harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products and illegal hunting have seriously threatened the survival of wild animals. Meanwhile, there are high poverty rates among all eight communes within CKFL, with 

Understanding the living conditions of local communities
up to 23 percent of the population of the community classed as poor. Poverty and the lack of stable income sources is the main reason driving residents to harvest timber and non-timber forest products, leading to forest degradation and fragmentation.
The study suggests that clear land use planning, strengthening law enforcement and promoting regular monitoring will help reduce forest degradation. In conjunction, improving local livelihoods by establishing small-scale nurseries and developing high-yielding agroforestry systems will also contribute towards sustainable forest conservation.
APFNet will continue working closely with the National Forestry Administration of Cambodia and other partners to further contribute to habitat protection and wildlife conservation in Cambodia.