World Wetlands Day 2023 in Cambodia
On 2 February, Cambodia celebrated World Wetlands Day 2023 with the theme It’s time for Wetlands Restoration at Neth Yong High School, Battambang Province, which is one of the six provinces surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake, or the largest lake in Southeast Asia and the world’s largest freshwater fishery.
The event was chaired by HE Srun Darith, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Environment. He said that the wetlands restoration theme reminded everyone that it was time to participate and restore our wetlands, which are an invaluable resource for environment and human well-being. During the wet season, he added, the Tonle Sap swells to hold 40 billion cubic meters of water, or about 10% of the total annual Mekong discharge. The water is slowly released during the dry season, effectively reducing both flood and drought risk. About 450 key stakeholders participated in the event.
The huge expansion and contraction of the lake provides a habitat for juvenile fish to mature. Further noting that "the Tonle Sap Lake is a strategic area for food security in Cambodia”, the Secretary of State urged everyone to take immediate and coordinated action to conserve, protect, and restore Cambodia’s wetlands, particularly the Tonle Sap Lake, and to continue raising awareness on the importance of wetlands for economy, jobs and society.