Tourism slowly returning to Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary despite continuing pockets of logging in protected areas.
Last week, Jahoo had the pleasure of reintroducing tourists to Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary after three months of inactivity.
On these trips, the Jahoo team came across loggers on indigenous lands. Community leaders made a quick response, arriving within one hour with KSWS rangers to put a stop to the logging.
The joint ranger and community team confiscated the timber and chainsaws. Community leader Vuthy mounted the tractor and escorted the timber to the community hall whilst a Jahoo guide looks on.
What happened in this incident?
More than 10 trees were felled, including this ancient Dipterocarpus alatus.
These trees are owned by indigenous families who have harvested resin from these trees for centuries.
This traditional livelihood doesn’t harm the tree and provides sustainable income to families. These trees are sought after for their hardwood for construction. The owner of this tree decided to sell the tree because the value of ancestral resin trees is declining with the value of resin in general. This is a worrying trend.
Another targeted species of tree was Lagerstroemia calyculata. I walked 30 paces alongside this fallen giant.
Historically these trees were not targeted by loggers as these trees tend to grow warped and are often hollow in parts. This suggests that typical species of hardwood trees are declining and these lesser quality trees are now being targeted.
These areas will be better protected through tourism, research and community action resourced by the Gibbon Fund (from ecotourism revenue). Jahoo aims to include this area in its ecotourism and research scope and rehabilitate degraded forest, replanting the area with gibbon-friendly trees employing indigenous stewards as forest gardeners.
How can you help?
All tours with Jahoo and SVC Tours to these areas contribute towards the Jahoo Fund. This fund goes directly to the ecotourism committees to pay for projects that benefit the communities.
Increased tourism in these areas will continue to highlight the value of the forest as a tourism attraction as well as discourage loggers.
Click here to see how ecotourism is important in protecting endangered species.
How can you book a tour at Jahoo?
1) Contact Jahoo directly on email@example.com. Nature adventure from 1 to 3 days in the heart of Keo Seima Wildife Sanctuary.
2) Book the Jahoo Gibbon Camp Experience with SVC Tours. 2 days, 1 night with specialist Khmer English-speaking bird and wildlife guides.
3) Register for the Keo Seima Cambodian Wildlife Adventure departing from Phnom Penh. Monthly scheduled departures from Phnom Penh. If you have a group of 8 people who want to do this trip, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we can run this tour any date you want with a 20% discount.
Conservation Project Manager at World Hope International, Cambodia
Leading the conservation initiative and responsible for integrating World Hope’s expertise in market and community-based development approaches in delivering biodiversity conservation and environmental protection goals through projects such as community-based ecotourism.