CAMBODIA– (MARCH 8, 2013)– Following its inauguration in 2006, Cambodia’s first marine conservation area marks a milestone as it is officially expanded to cover an additional 1,235 acres.
The expanded conservation area will provide further protection to fish, corals, giant clams, rare seahorses and delicate sea-grass beds, which form part of the Koh Rong archipelago’s unique biodiversity.
The expanded marine sanctuary was the result of collaboration between Song Saa Private Island and the recently established Footprints Organization, with vital support and buy-in from the local community and relevant government authorities.
“We are enormously proud to be further expanding Cambodia’s first marine sanctuary, which is part of our ongoing commitment to the region’s communities and environment,” said Song Saa Private Island Chairman, Rory Hunter.
The Song Saa Coral Reef and Biodiversity Conservation Area will protect local marine life from bottom trawling, the use of poisons and explosives for fishing and other harmful practices.
“Providing an area where marine life can recover from outside pressures can help secure breeding stocks for target fish species, which has a beneficial flow-on effect for the local villagers,” said Dr Wayne McCallum, Director of the Footprints Organization. “We hope this initiative will provide an example of how local habitats and species can be protected in ways that benefit both the environment and the community.”
With the operational ethos of ‘luxury that treads lightly’, Song Saa Private Island has received a number of awards for its conservation and sustainability efforts, including the HSMAI / National Geographic Traveler ‘Leaders in Sustainable Tourism’ award, the HICAP ‘Sustainability’ award, the TTG Travel Award for ‘Best New Beach Resort’, and the coveted Travel & Leisure USA Global Vision Award for Sustainability.
The Footprints Organization was established to promote environmental education and awareness, with a focus on initiatives that enhance ecological well-being and the sustainability of community livelihoods.