Mangrove forests along Cambodia’s coast in Kampot support more than 100,000 families and create a diverse ecosystem that is home to hundreds of unique species.
But coastal development projects, coupled with locals’ reliance on the forest for their livelihoods, threaten to decimate more than 1,000 hectares of this lush environment, an NGO has said.
The mangroves have been in decline for a decade due to human activities, including logging and filling the waterways with sand to create artificial land, according to Wildlife Conservation Cambodia.
Fishing communities say their livelihoods are also being affected by a 1,000-hectare special economic zone under construction in the province.
Besides a $100 million seaport and $400 million Chinese-backed coal power plant being built at the site, a private company, Keo Chea, is building a 200-hectare hotel complex in nearby Kep Thmey village. …