Cambodia’s unique nature and wildlife are under threat from both legal development and economic activities, illegal activities such as logging and land encroachment, as well as the effects of climate change. Mlup Baitong is implementing several projects aiming to protect forests and their ecosystems. In order to create effective and lasting change, we work closely with target communities in the protected areas to empower them to protect their forests.

Managing forests

Sustaining Community Forest Management (SCFM)

Six districts (Boribo, Kg. Tralach, Krakor, Kravanh, Banon, Samlot)

Area program 
Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang provinces

Funding period
January 2015 – December 2017

Funded by
Brot für die Welt/Bread for the World

In Cambodia shrinking forests caused by illegal logging are a serious threat to communities living in these areas, as well as the ecosystems. Cambodia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, according to a 2005 report conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The overall rate of total forest loss is nearly 75% since the end of the 1990s. Together with Bread for the World, Mlup Baitong wants to oppose this development by contributing to sustainable forest resources management and poverty alleviation through rights-based empowerment. The target communities are located in the provinces Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang.

Mlup Baitong supports these communities to manage their natural resources in a sustainable way in order to ensure that they will be able to live off the forest in the future instead of losing their forests and thus their livelihoods. To achieve this goal, our staff provides capacity building, educational material and awareness raising in land and forestry protection rights and advocacy. Another important aspect is the establishment of a patrolling system by the community to prevent illegal logging activities. Technical training to develop micro enterprises on appropriate agricultural techniques, such as home gardening and animal raising, ensure that the communities will be able to manage and support themselves financially for the long term.

Community Forest Management and Livelihood Improvement (CFMLI)

11 districts (Samrong Pong, Phnom Srouch, Boset, Sandan, Prasat Sambo, Prasat Balang, Kg. Svay, Varin, Thalaborivat, Siembok, Sasan)

Area program
Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Stung Treng provinces

Funding period
January 2013 – December 2017

Funded by
EU, co-funded by Oxfam Novib and Brot für die Welt/Bread for the World

In four provinces of Cambodia, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Stung Treng, Mlup Baitong supports communities in exerting their land rights, managing their natural resources in a sustainable way and obtaining improved livelihoods.

Mlup Baitong builds their capacity and supports them to establish new Community Forestry sites. Once the sites are established, Mlup Baitong enables communities to manage and protect their areas. As a part of the site protection, Mlup Baitong teaches communities about their land and forestry protection rights.

We encourage community members to establish forest-based micro enterprises and provide trainings on business planning, management and marketing. Self Help Groups are formed, and once capacity has been built, they operate revolving funds and provide micro credits to members. This supports the future independence and ability of the communities in managing their resources and improving their livelihoods.

Success & feature stories

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

14 districts (Banan, Rukhakiri, Samlot, Boribo, Rolea Phier, Kg. Tralach, Teuk Phos, Borseth, Thpong, Phnom Srouch, Oral, Krakor, Kra Vanhj, Veal Veng)

Area program
Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang provinces

Funding period
March 2012 – February 2015

Funded by

Similar to our CFMLI project, this project also aimed to protect endangered forests in Cambodia, and to secure the income sources of the targeted communities who live off the forests’ resources. By strengthening sustainable forest management and bio-energy markets, we supported environmental sustainability and contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Cambodia.

The project took place in four Cambodian provinces: Kampong Speu, Kampong Chnang, Pursat and Battambang. Mlup Baitong supported target communities to establish Community Forestry and Community Protected Areas, building their capacities in sustainable forest management along the way. Community members set up patrolling activities to protect their sites from illegal logging activities. At the same time, they found new ways to sustain their livelihoods in a beneficial way for both nature and people. They developed business plans for their new income sources to make sure that their ideas are viable. They were also trained in sustainable community land use planning, which ensures a positive development for the future to come.

Improving the environment

Environment and Livelihood Improvements at Sarus Crane Reserve (ELISCR)

Location Anlung Pring

Area program Kampot province

Funding period July 2014 – September 2016

Funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Sarus Cranes are a vulnerable bird species that has already gone extinct in several Asian countries. Up to 30% of Cambodia’s Sarus Crane population visits the wetlands around Anlung Pring during the dry season to feed. Degradation and loss of wetlands, use of pesticides and hunting all contribute to dwindling populations of these large birds in Cambodia.

The objective of Mlup Baitong’s project in Anlung Pring’s bird reserve was to improve community livelihoods while protecting its environment and contributing to biodiversity in the area. Villagers received training in sustainable and productive farming methods and in other income generating activities such as the establishment of community based eco-tourism. The project also built the capacity of local communities to contribute to Sarus Crane conservation through training, education, and village environmental action teams.

Taken together, the improved community livelihood and environment is reducing pressure on the birds’ habitat and feeding areas, and safeguarding the birds’ population for the future.

Success & feature stories

Eco-tourism & Sarus Crane Conservation