In March 2021, Cambodia signed into law Sub-decree No. 30, which removed official protection from some 127,000 hectares of land formerly included in national parks, reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in Koh Kong province. Purportedly done to grant land rights to local communities, a 2021 Mongabay investigation revealed that land brokers with links to government officials were buying up large expanses of this now-obtainable land.
The move cast a pall of uncertainty over the future of Koh Kong’s wildlife, as well as multinational conservation projects planned for the region. Fauna and Flora International, who have launched numerous projects in the area, declined to comment on the potential impacts that the sub-decree could have on their work.
Meanwhile, the World Bank, which kicked off a $50.66 million project aimed at enhancing ecotourism and the management of protected areas in the Cardamoms region also declined to answer questions on whether they were aware of the planned sub-decree when their project launched in 2019 or how it would alter their multi-million dollar conservation investment.
In full: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/02/can-ecotourism-save-cambodias-ghost-parks/