Improving Cambodia's environment through education and action
Mlup Baitong is a Cambodian NGO working to increase environmental awareness and conservation, seeking solutions for sustainable and equitable use of natural resources through education, training, and advocacy and community-based natural resource management and eco-tourism activities.
The vast majority of the Cambodian people still lives in rural areas and depends on surrounding natural resources to make a living. Deforestation and degradation of forests continues to be one of the major problems threatening these natural resources. This is caused by a number of factors including commercial logging, land concessions to the powerful and forest fires, but also by unsustainable exploitation committed by local communities. Furthermore, at village level there is very limited awareness on issues such as pesticide use and waste management.
Furthermore, global warming with more unreliable and unpredictable monsoon rains is causing more frequent floods and droughts that are threatening the environment and livelihood of people.
At the same time the population continues to grow so that the pressure on land is increasing while about 40 percent of the Cambodians are still living below the poverty line. Most of these poor households depend on farming less than 1 ha of land and in the remoter areas of the country families often depend on collecting non-timber forest products (NTFP) as well as other natural resource products to sustain a living.In this situation the environment and biodiversity of Cambodia's natural resources are severely affected, which in turn threatens the livelihood of especially the rural communities.
Therefore conservation and sustainable use and management of natural resources are essential for sound economic development of the country, for the benefit of Cambodians today and in the future.