Cambodia to seek UNESCO recognition for dolphin areas hinh anh 1Dolphins at Prek Kampi in Cambodia's Kratie Pprovince. (Photo:

Phnom Penh (VNA) -
The Cambodian Ministry of Environment has been tasked with compiling data on four areas that are home to Irrawaddy dolphins in Kratie and Preah Vihear provinces.

The report is a step in preparation for possible inclusion on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said Cambodia has already received recognition by UNESCO for several cultural heritage sites, including Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear Temple and the Sambor Prei Kuk temple group, along with other intangible cultural treasures.

“Cambodia doesn’t only have Prek Kampi which is an Irrawaddy dolphin conservation area that we have studied and documented for UNESCO. We have four places we have studied and documented in preparation for being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Pheaktra was quoted by Phnom Penh Post as saying.

The four areas are Prek Kampi dolphin Conservation Area, Prek Prasob Wildlife Sanctuary, Phnom Tbeng Natural Heritage site and Tmat Boey Natural Tourism Community.

Pheaktra said there are only three countries in the world that are home to the Irrawaddy dolphin and Cambodia has the most, with 92 dolphins, followed by Indonesia and Burma, each with 60.

In the last 20 years, the number of Cambodian Irrawaddy dolphins increased by between 13 to 18 individuals.

Pheaktra said he hopes that once the documentation is completed and submitted to UNESCO, it will help to protect and preserve dolphin areas, and attract domestic and international tourists.

According to a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report, Irrawaddy dolphins or Mekong dolphins live in three major river systems and two lakes in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and India.

Irrawaddy dolphin has been included in the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). /.