Enhanced wetland resilience for biodiversity & livelihoods

Enhanced wetland resilience for biodiversity & livelihoods

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
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Dates / Project duration

January 2023 - December 2025 / 3 years

Field of action :

Conservation of endangered species Study on climate change and its effects

Branch :


Location :


Project sponsor(s) :

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

The oriental antigone crane found in Cambodian wetlands is an emblematic species of the region. This species is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and the Cambodia-Vietnam population of the oriental antigone crane is facing a severe threat of extinction, marked by a precipitous fall of 81% since 2014, from 850 individuals to just 164 in 2021.

The crane's migratory pattern between its breeding grounds in northern Cambodia and its dry-season feeding grounds around the Tonle Sap and the lower Mekong delta is being disrupted by major changes to these sites. Climate change, hydroelectric production and agricultural irrigation have collectively altered the natural cycles, creating considerable pressure on this iconic species.

In March 2020, the civil society and government players involved in its preservation jointly drew up and published an action plan for its conservation, on which the project is based. The Action Plan identifies the need to improve water management and restore essential habitats, in particular seasonal flooded grasslands. Pilot projects for sustainable alternative crops, such as mung beans, are envisaged to alleviate pressure on wetlands from intensive agriculture. The focus is on the Anlung Pring and Boeung Prek Lapouv protected landscapes in the Mekong Delta, which are home to 70% of the crane population.

The project also envisages the introduction of new long-cycle rice varieties that are attractive to cranes and less dependent on chemical inputs. At the same time, scientific research will assess the effectiveness of the restoration measures, monitor the current state of the wetlands and document future changes. This integrated programme aims to become an exemplary model of seasonal wetland management in the Mekong Delta, promoting harmonious coexistence between wildlife and local communities through sustainable agriculture.