On 15 January 2013, I visited part of Kulen Mountain Range in Srae Nuoy District, Siem Reap Province. As you already know, Kulen Mountain is a big mountain located in Siem Reap Province and it was recognized as a National Park in Cambodia. It was fully covered by the natural forest and there are waterfalls and ancient sculpture that was built in the Angkor era. I did not visit the tourism zone, but I visited another part of that mountain range, which is located in Srae Nuoy District, it is to note that most part of the mountain is located in Svay Leu district, but only small part of it is located in Srae Nuoy district.

On the way to the mountain.
On the way to the mountain.

The purpose of my visit was to see the situation of natural forest and source of water in upstream (on the top of the mountain). I would like to let you know that this mountain provides water sources for several natural streams in downstream including a few streams in Lvea Krang Commune, in Varin District, Siem Reap Province.

Along the way up to the top of the mountain, I saw some trees were cut down on the ground. Therefore, it seemed that an effective action to fight against the illegal logging have not been implemented successfully. Some people want to cut valuable trees to make money as they can sell it with expensive price, and some other people would like to clear natural forest in order to expand their agricultural land for planting cassava and other cash crops. But the problem is mismanagement of these natural resources, for example the management of forest, land, water, etc in order to ensure that these resources are used in the sustainable way.

Varin district governor was interested to create Community Forestry (CF) on that mountain. He mentioned that the establishment of the CF is a solely way to conserve the natural forest. At the same time, it will provide benefit for community people. He added that “Eco-tourism is another possible option to improve livelihoods of the people who live in surrounding areas of that mountain.