PHNOM PENH, Sept. 15 (FN) — The Cambodian government has listed three natural areas covering a total area of 27,941 hectares as new protected areas, according to an Environment Ministry's statement on Thursday.

The new protected areas include the 2,655-hectare Koh Rong Island and the 16.3-hectare Prek Tub Lake in southwestern Preah Sihanouk province and the 25,269-hectare Tbeng Mountain in northwestern Preah Vihear province.

"Registering the Koh Rong Island as a National Park and the Prek Tub Lake as a freshwater conservation area is to ensure the protection of natural beauty, culture, ecological system, and biodiversity in these areas," the statement said. "While listing the Tbeng Mountain as a natural heritage area is to protect ecological system and natural beauty."

According to the statement, to date, the Southeast Asian country has 45 protected natural areas covering a total of more than 5.9 million hectares.