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First national round table

24 October 2001

A perspective from Bokor National Park

Chey Yuthearith. Director of Bokor National Park, Deputy Director of Environment Department, Kampot province


Physical Characteristics


140,000 ha

Location of Bokor National Park


1079 m


Lithosol and acidic


November - May: Dry and hot
May - October: Rainy season - 1813 mm


Max. 37C Min 14.7C

Wind speed:

January - June average 9.4 - 10 m/s for 75% of the year.


Biological diversity

  • 38 rare plant species
  • 47 Non-timber forest products
  • 249 bird species
  • 29 mammal species
    • 9 critically endangered worldwide
  • 11 frog species
  • 9 reptile species

Inside the forest at Bokor National Park^ TOP

Forest types

  • Deciduous forest
  • Semi-deciduous forest
  • Evergreen forest
  • Semi-evergreen forest
  • Dwarf mountainous evergreen forest (800m)


Pressures on Bokor National Park

  • Military training school to the north
  • Oil palm plantation to the west
  • Land encroachment for fruit tree plantations in the south
  • Illegal logging and hunting in the south
  • Previously controlled by ex-Khmer Rouge in the east
  • Large-scale logging 1998-1999 using heavy equipment for Long Day Concession Company (cancelled 2000)
  • Yellow Liana refinery

Poachers of the rare wood Aquilaria, apprehended attempting to enter Bokor National Park, with their equipment and rations.


Strategy for the management and conservation of natural resources

In 1997, 10 Park rangers were introduced for patrolling, data collection and law enforcement.

In December 2000 park rangers were given training on patrolling by Wild Aid.

By 2001 there were 50 Park rangers.

There are now 5 substations around the park.


Achievements in Bokor National Park
  • Successes in curtailing illegal activities:
    5 sawmills, 139 charcoal kilns, 3 yellow liana refineries, 60 chainsaws, 11,127 snares and traps, 35 people transporting logs by railway cart, 35 rock collectors, 116 cases of land encroachment

  • Commitments to cease illegal activities:
    199 loggers, 14 hunters

  • Awareness raising:
    56 hunters using dogs, 67 people who transport lumber

  • Data collection on non-timber forest products by park rangers:
    Bamboo, rattan, resin, yellow liana, fruit

  • 2 community development schemes initiated


Challenges for Bokor National Park

  • Number of park rangers is insufficient for the park area.
  • Low salaries of park rangers.
  • Lack of fuel, equipment, means of transport for management of the park.
  • No funds available in case of sickness (e.g. malaria).
  • Lack of co-operation from local authorities for law enforcement.
  • Location of armed forces close to the park boundary.
  • Many people near the park are very poor.
  • Insufficient support for ecotourism from current policy.
  • Conflict over control of entry fee collection in Toek Chhou.
  • Lack of law enforcement powers.
  • Number of park rangers is insufficient for the park area.
  • A decrease in fishery production is leading to increased illegal activities.
  • Boundary demarcation is not officially recognised.


Planning to 2002

  • Increase patrolling in less accessible areas.
  • Construct 3 more sub-stations in main entries to the park.
  • Prepare to establish protected area community within the buffer zone of two communes.
  • Make physical boundary demarcation according to availability of funds.