What makes the Lower Mekong Dry Forests Ecoregion so special?


Animal, plant and cultural diversity

As recently as the mid-20th century, the dry forests supported some of the most diverse and abundant large mammal communities in Asia. These landscapes of Cambodia were described as "the great game-lands of Asia". Kouprey, Gaur, Banteng, Wild Water Buffalo and Eld's Deer were seen in great herds.

This extraordinary ecoregion, now recovering from over 40 years of war and guerrilla activities, is revealing incredible treasures in one of the last great wilderness landscapes left on this Earth.

Large and not fragmented
The Dry Forests landscapes still cover large tracts of land and are not as fragmented as in other places. This presents a marvelous opportunity to keep, rather than recover what is there.

Absence of people
There's also the population factor: the number of settlements and people in these landscapes are still relatively small, and there are currently relatively few economic alternatives for the use of Dry Forest lands which would conflict with conservation activities.

Government will
Additionally, the Government of Cambodia is open to the development of new conservation models and approaches.

For these reasons, the initial phase of the WWF Lower Mekong Dry Forests Ecoregion program will focus on the Dry Forests of Eastern and Northern Cambodia. Especially in the remote and sparsely populated Mondulkiri province on the border with Vietnam.

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