Started in 2005, The Eastern Plains Landscape (EPL) project, located in northeastern Cambodia, covers 2 protected areas: Mondulkiri Protected Forest (MPF) and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary (PPWS). Both protected areas are part of the world’s 200 most biologically important eco-regions. Spread over an area of almost 800.000 ha, the EPL contains one of the largest continuous stretch of dry- and semi evergreen forest in South East Asia;
The Mondulkiri Protected Forest was legally designated by a Royal Government of Cambodia Sub-Decree in 2002 for the primary purpose of conserving plant and wildlife genetic resources.
The management of MPF falls within the criteria of IUCN category 2: “National Park: protected area mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation”
WWF has been actively managing the MPF since 2004 in collaboration with the Wildlife Protection Office (WPO) of the Forestry Administration (FA). WWF developed the all-encompassing Srepok Wilderness Area Project (SWAP), which governs all activities undertaken within the MPF.
The remote value of the MPF is significantly high for the region, containing a large amount of undisturbed habitat, an aesthetically attractive river, remote and unique landscapes, forests, and wildlife creating high potential for tourists to visit the area.
The Mondulkiri Protected Forest (MPF) is part of the Lower Mekong Dry Forest Eco-region (LMDFE), which is indicated by WWF as one of the world’s 200 most biologically important eco-regions. The MPF contains a characteristic dry forest mosaic pattern of natural habitats, including several small ponds and wetlands that are embedded in three forest types. This habitat mosaic is globally unique and supports a significant population of globally threatened wildlife species.
The Srepok River that runs through the MPF, is part of the biologically rich Mekong River system and forms a priority landscape within the LMDFE. The Srepok river system is a vital economic and livelihood resource for MPF and the adjacent communities of which many rely solely on the river for domestic water supply, fish consumption and transport.
Most of the trees are of non-commercial value because they are small in diameter and widely spaced. However, the forest contains some luxury timber species, but its patches are often scattered and in remote locations. Local people harvest trees and bamboo for construction and Non-timber forest products, such as resin and sleng seeds, form an important valuable resource.