Protecting the Dangrak Ecological Corridor, Bridging Thailand’s Conservation Success to Cambodia

Timeframe: 2023 - 2025
Country/Region: Thailand, Cambodia
Partner: Freeland Foundation

The Dangrak ecological corridor, straddling the border of Thailand and Cambodia, represents an area of particular regional conservation importance. The landscape links Thailand’s Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex to protected areas and forest habitat along the Thai-Cambodian border, extending eastward to Southern Laos.

Despite the value of this landscape, its future is under considerable threat, with looming consequences for both threatened species and the vulnerable human communities. While much of this landscape exists under formal protection, managers and rangers in protected areas lack resources and capacity necessary to prevent illegal activities. Poaching in this landscape is rife, with high-value species particularly targeted for trafficking and trade. Transnational organised criminal networks exploit vulnerable communities by encouraging their participation in trafficking of all forms. Illegal logging and forest degradation along the border is also having profound environmental impacts, making areas susceptible to both flash flooding and drought.

This new project implemented by Freeland Foundation aims to bolster protection of wildlife, forests and biological integrity of the Dangrak Ecological Corridor by improving strategic management and enforcement capacity in protected areas, by increasing monitoring of key species populations and the threats affecting them; and by galvanizing support from government and civil society. The overall objectives of the project are to reduce nature-related crime, to provide protection to recovering wildlife populations, and to preserve the forest corridor, thus sustaining the perennial supply of water that this landscape supports. The project will be implemented under an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Thailand and Cambodia on transboundary biodiversity cooperation.