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.
Collaborative Management for Watershed and Ecosystem Service Protection and Rehabilitation (CoWES)
Krang Dei Vay, Trapeang Chhor and Tasal Communes
Kampong Speu Province
April 2018 – March 2020
UNDP Cambodia, Royal Cambodian Government, GEF
Mlup Baitong is contributing to the larger project on Collaborative Management for Watershed and Ecosystem Service Protection and Rehabilitation (CoWES) led by UNDP, the Royal Cambodian Government and GEF. Land degradation is a serious issue in Cambodia, manifested primarily in the form of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility induced by both natural and anthropogenic causes. CoWES is designed to reduce pressures on upland watershed areas from competing land uses by demonstrating collaborative management and rehabilitation of agriculture lands and forest areas through promoting a sustainable land management and stabilizing watershed catchment functions in a priority degraded area, Upper Prek Thnot watershed in Kampong Speu Province.
Mlup Baitong’s objective is to restore and maintain forest cover and watershed stability functions while providing sustainable livelihoods and ecosystem services in the target area. To achieve this, Mlup Baitong will improve on-farm soil conservation and agro-forestry practices, restore Community Forest areas and ensure that they are sustainably managed, and improve the watershed management and monitoring capacity of relevant stakeholders.
Find out more about CoWES here.
Sustaining Community Forest Management – II (SCFM II)
Phnom Samkos & Phnom Aoral Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Cardamom Mountains and adjoining areas
Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang provinces
January 2018 – December 2020
Brot für die Welt/Bread for the World
Through our previous project Sustaining Community Forestry Management (SCFM) funded by BfdW in 2015-2017, the target communities have successfully established Community Forestry (CF) and Community Protected Area (CPA) sites including SHGs, micro-enterprises and community-based ecotourism (CBET) sites. Project activities supported forest conservation and improved living conditions of the beneficiaries. During this next phase – SCFM II – we will build on the outcomes of the previous phase and focus on further institutionalizing and strengthening existing mechanisms to ensure the beneficiaries’ capability to handle further developments and long-term sustainability. In particular, we will address needs and concerns of the target groups which arose during the implementation of SCFM and further develop existing structures to increase the benefits for the target groups:
- Strengthen CF and CPA Mangement Committees to implement their Management Plans, and to become fully independent in their operations.
- Improve the management capacities of SHGs to handle large amounts of funds, establish new SHGs to meet increased demand and transform successful SHGs into Agricultural Cooperatives which provide access to financing and technical training.
- Strengthen micro-entrepreneurs to develop, implement and sustain successful businesses, including harmonized production and marketing schemes, long-term buyer partnerships, and CBET management.
All three strategies are interlinked in such a way that they all support conservation and livelihood improvements. CF and CPA Management Plans include both conservation actions and income generating plans such as CBET establishment and management. SHGs provide access to funding and trainings for micro-enterprises. All micro-enterprises need to be socially and environmentally sustainable. We will continue to mainstream gender empowerment and women participation in all project activities and ensure that women benefit at least equally from all project outcomes.
The target group consists of 24,524 CF and CPA members (54% women) of 15 CF and 5 CPA sites. They are located in 39 villages, 15 communes, and 11 districts in the three target provinces Battambang, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang.
Sustaining Community Forest Management (SCFM)
Six districts (Boribo, Kg. Tralach, Krakor, Kravanh, Banon, Samlot)
Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang provinces
January 2015 – December 2017
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)
Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Stung Treng provinces
January 2013 – December 2017
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)
Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang provinces
March 2012 – February 2015
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.