Cambodia: Conservation Area Landscape Management (CALM)

UNDP Practice Area:
Energy and Environment

Is the project completed or ongoing?


In the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear province, ecotourism is prospering and wildlife numbers are increasing. But it’s not just a boom for the local wildlife – members of the local Tmatboey community have also been able to improve their livelihoods, while ensuring the protection of their surrounding environment in this northern part of Cambodia.

The sanctuary is an example of an initiative by the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to promote a community-managed approach to ecotourism in Cambodia. It is supported by UNDP.

The Tmatboey project has been such a success that it was announced a winner of the 2008 international Equator Prize, which recognizes initiatives around the world that translate local action into global sustainable development. The year earlier, Tmatboey was also recognized as a model community-based ecotourism enterprise, receiving the 2007 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award.

The remote forest village of 203 families in Cambodia’s north is a long way from Barcelona, where Tmatboey community representative Dib On recently traveled to receive the prestigious award. He found the experience of meeting other competition winners and taking part in workshops organised by the Equator Initiative both rewarding and informative.

The Tmatboey initiative is only a few years old, but numbers of tourists are increasing rapidly and the benefits that the Tmatboey village receives are also rising each year. The Royal Cambodian Government, WCS and partners are hoping to develop this model of community-based ecotourism in other villages in Preah Vihear province to improve livelihoods and protect more wildlife.

The initiative is part of the Conservation Area Landscape Management (CALM) project, which is jointly funded by UNDP and GEF.


The Conservation Area Landscape Management (CALM) project is working toward the effective conservation of the key components of the biodiversity of Cambodia’s Northern Plains in Preah Vihear province in the northern part of the country. The project helps to enhance national and local capacities to conserve an area of approximately 400,000 hectares of dry forest in the Northern Plains, which also include the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Santuary. The Plains are the largest remaining extensive block of a unique landscape of exceptional global importance for biodiversity conservation. The area is a refuge for key populations of 36 species on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Red List, including six listed as critically endangered. The project’s activities include:

  • offering incentive scheme to engage community members in protecting forest, conserving wildlife and managing protected areas in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Preah Vihear Province in northern Cambodia.
  • establishing community-managed ecotourism to help conserve the nature as well as to provide villagers with alternative income. The Tmatboey village Ibis Eco-tourism initiative won the Equator Award in 2008, following on from the Wild Asia Responsible Eco-tourism Award in 2007.
  • introducing bird nest protection programme which has led to the increase in nests of globally threatened bird species from 166 nests in 2004 to 365 nests in 2008. While the scheme is quite expensive compare with other conservation options, costing an average of US$110 nest, the amounts paid to individual community members can be greater than US$400 a year, a substantial sum in an area where family incomes average about US$350 a year.
  • training more than 280 people, including 70 women, 48 government staff and 218 members of local NGOs, civil society organizations and community-based organizations in tourism service provision, commune planning, natural resource management, financial management, agricultural techniques, law enforcement monitoring, and wildlife survey techniques. The 48 government staff, including 39 rangers, were trained in Management Information System (MIST), use of the Geographic Information System (GIS), community development and patrolling.



Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Executing agency:
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - NGO Implementation
Co-operating agencies: Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Forestry Administration)
Ministry of Environment (Department of Nature Conservation and Protection)


Scaled up to a national/regional level?



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For more information Contact:

Munthit Ker
Public information and media officer
Tel: 855-23 216 167 ext. 130


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