Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country bordering Vietnam in the East, Laos in the North and Thailand in the West, with a coastal southern border. The total area of its 18.1 million ha consists of about 450,000 ha water, the remaining area being land. The climate is tropical, characterized by a monsoon season running roughly from May to November and a dry season from December to April, though temperatures vary only slightly between seasons. The center of the kingdom consists of flat, fertile plains often cultivated with rice paddies. These central plains are framed by large forested mountain areas in the Southwest (e.g. Cardamoms) and North (e.g. Virachey and Mondulkiri). Cambodia’s natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential, and arable land. (CIA World Factbook)

Protected areas

In 1952, Cambodia was the first country in Southeast Asia to introduce protected areas. By 1957, the country featured 173 forest reserves and 6 wildlife reserves. While the system collapsed during the years of internal conflict, efforts have commenced and intensified during the past decade. In 1993, Cambodia designated 23 protected areas covering more than 3 million ha, equaling about 18% of the country’s area, under the authority of the Ministry of Environment. In addition, the Royal Government designated a further 10 protected forest areas covering 1.6 million ha under the Forestry Administration, and 58 fish sanctuaries administered by the Fisheries Administration. (RGC: The Fifth National Report To The Convention On Biological Diversity)

Types of protected ecosystems by coverage area 2013 (ha)
Protected forests and biodiversity conservation areas (20 sites)
Community forestry (453 sites)
Community fishery (469 sites)
Fish conservation areas (58 sites)


Cambodia is one of the countries in the world most affected by landmines, at one stage with 235 citizens falling casualty to landmines. Since 1979 64,000 people in Cambodia have died from landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). With over 25,000 amputees, the kingdom has the highest ratio per capita globally. (Halo Trust)