The forest of Phnom Kulen:
The ad hoc group of experts recommends that effective protection measures be implemented at the Forest of Phnom Kulen, which has been greatly depleted due to massive deforestation. Indeed, the river running through the Angkor site sources at Phnom Kulen and supplies one of the three major watersheds in the region of Angkor-Siem Reap. The deforestation has changed the flow regime of this river.
The massif of Phnom Kulen has been listed as a National Park (Kret dated 1 November 1993) and, thus, is placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment, but is also under the jurisdiction of several institutions of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
The Siem Reap River has been listed from its source in Zone 3 (Kret No. 001 NS dated 28 May 1994, Royal Decree on the Protection and Management of the Angkor region/Siem Reap) and the archaeological sites of Phnom Kulen, located in the Siem Reap Province (NS/RKT/0295/12 decree on the creation of the APSARA Authority, Law on the Protection of the heritage proclaimed on January 25, 1996), are both under the responsibility of the APSARA National Au-thority. Finally, access to the plateau is the subject of a private concession, but none of the windfall from tourism operations is accrued to the conservation of the site.
Therefore, the experts recommend that the various ministries and institu-tions coordinate their actions in order to stop the deforestation on Phnom Kulen and that protection measures are applied according to the existing laws.
The establishment of reforestation and alternative crops for livelihood programmes is strongly recommended.
Finally, it is also recommended to the APSARA National Authority that it negotiates with the above-mentioned concession company to gain its active engagement in the conservation of the site.