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Over one million Cambodian people depend on Tonle Sap Lake for survival - photo by AlJazeera video
Natural and man-made activities are endangering the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake. 

Low-water levels and depleting fish stocks have forced the Global Nature Fund to deem it the world's 'threatened' lake for 2016. The area is also experiencing ongoing forest fires due to extreme heat and drought.

Tonle Sap is often described as the 'beating heart' of Cambodia as the lake supports the livelihood of over a million Cambodian people and supply's 75% of the country's protein. 

In an already impoverished country, some Cambodian families who have fished the lake for many years, are seeking jobs in other sectors because of shortages.

Some experts say countries like Laos operate dams which are partly responsible for the decreased water and fish levels.



Vocabulary
to endanger - to put something in danger or at risk of being hurt or damaged
freshwater - not salt water
depleting - dying out; disappearing
stock - populations; supplies
to deem - to regard / see something in a certain way

threatened - in danger
ongoing - continually happening

due to - because of
drought - long periods of no rain / water
the beating heart of __ - the most important part of something's survival (as how the heart is most important to pump the blood throughout the body)

livelihood - the work / job / career that someone does to survive in life
protein - the nutrient used to make muscle in the body
impoverished - poor; not rich
sectors - areas of work / research
shortages - a period of time where there is very little of something available

experts - people who are extremely knowledgeable in a specific field of study
dam - a device that stops and accumulates water in a river