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The Srange Land Field and Flooded Forest Are Our Fish Habitats

23 hectares out of 1,800 hectares of Srange filed and flooded forest in Por Treay Commune, Puok District, Siem Reap Province had been cleared by farmers from Mok Pen and Por Treay commune in order for dry rice cultivation. The case have been stopped by  all authorities and relevant experts to keep this area for fish habitat and for breeding ground and also for public and small scale family fishing area, through advocated in public forum on 24th February 2015 that  coordinated by Her. Excellency Seng Vansay, Secretary Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, take place at Ta Keat Pagoda, Muk Pen Commune, Puok District, Siem Reap province, and funded by Forum Syd organization through Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT).

 

Every year, the local people linivng around Tonle Sap lake always reclaim and burn flooded forest at Srange land filed and clered the weed for cultivation, especially for dry rice season. Beyond 2014 and early 2015, there are 10 household farmers in Por Treay and Muk Pen commune who always cultivated in dry season, they cleared and burned the  flooded forest. Their occupations were extremly affected to biodiversy, fish habitat, anmal feeding ground declined and environmental pollution, especailly its was affected to widow and poorest families of fisher who disable to fishing long distance from their home. According to seeing these problems all local fisher were organized the meeting to raise the issuues and submited concern/request letter to local authorities and major relvant experts at provincial level in order to take action and supported fund for dealing with this problems.

Actually, on 20 February 2015, there are 30 households from Por Treay commune organized the informal meeting to discuss to each other, then they were prepared the concern/request letter to Commune, District and Province authorities, relevant experts and NGOs for intervention to stopped on the case of flooded forest and land grabbing in Veal Srange land. After discussed with  Mr. Oeun BunThong, Commune council member of Por Treay Commune and community representatives also requested to TFN and Fisheries FACT for coordination and intervention in dealing above problems faced.

All People who are living  in Por Treay commune, Puok district, Siem Reap province understood about important of flooded forest and its problems affected. They were advocated by submitted concern/requested letter to main relevant experts and all authorities to solve. As result the authorities agreed and widely open to organize the public forum on 24th February 2015 that coordinated by Her. E Seng Vannsay, secretary ministry  of Water Resources and all authorities (Provincial Deputy Governor, Fisheries Experts, District Governor, Commune council) solved and stop land grabbing activities of people and revoked the flooded forest for fish habitat for laying eggs and keep common fishing area as family fishing.

 

Her. Excellency Seng Vannsay, Deputy of secretary ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology  in amongst the  District public forum at Ta Keat pagoda, Puok district had been announced to local people 400 families  that, Do not to all farmers that want to use this area  for dry season rice season, due to Srang land fiel is very as as the key role for in improving the fishery resources and biodiversity for our people.

Mr. Oeun Bunthong, commune council member of Por Treay commune(1st vice chief of commune council), stated that “Veal Srongae and flooded forest arethe rice pot and of fisher families because we can catch the fish by using small scale family fishing gears every year and we have been earned a lot of income for support our families. So other people must jointly  together to protect  and keep fish habitat and natural resources for benciail for young generation”. He said more that“on be half of I am a commune council, I must contribute to protect flooded forest that the royal government issued sub-degree 197 on flooded forest limitation 647,406 hectares in 6 province surrounding Tonle Sap lake.

Mrs. Soa Sophin, fisherires community member and is a chief of community based organization and a gender focal person in commune said “Before people weren’t interested in losing fisheries resources or fish product, but after they joined many trainings with committee of community base organization that coordinated by FACT and other NGOs,  funded by Forum Syd and other donors. So they understood about important of flooded forest and fisheries resource and affected, if they lose flooded forest and Veal Srange land field they just meet and hand up to agree or disagree with cultivation dry season rice and proposed for getting this issue to discuss in District public forum. ”

Finally, 10 households have clearly understood about advantage of natural resources and fisheries resources and its value in management of Srange rice field and flooded forest in terms of improving the existing resources in the region based on cultural sharing to develop through purpose of Forum Syd and all families must stop flooded forest clearance and stop the case of land grabbing like Srange land to cultivate dry season rice field as before. This case was fully fevorably solved since 27th February 2015.