Cambodia: Developing communities for the indigenous population


A community forest patrol base in Ratanakiri province, Cambodia

Almost 80% of Cambodians currently live in rural areas, of which nearly 8.5 million rely on natural resources for their livelihoods. These resources face multiple threats, from natural disasters to environmentally-damaging and unlawful land acquisitions. For two thirds of the year, the people of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri struggle to find enough to eat and drink, and only six per cent have access to adequate sanitation. We have been working with CAFOD and Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) on projects in Cambodia since 2014.

The Project

In 2016, we commenced a three year project in collaboration with 30 indigenous communities in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri to enable 4,186 people to manage natural resources, improve their livelihoods, access water and live sustainably. Project activities have been designed by the communities themselves to ensure that the benefits are shared equally and fairly; the overarching themes that span all activities include the promotion of accessibility and inclusion, and the building of strong communities where positive relationships develop between people of different backgrounds and ethnicity.

Over the three years, our key objectives include:

  • Ensuring that 267 households have improved food security and an income increased by at least 25 per cent.
  • Ensuring that 535 households have increased knowledge and skills in managing agricultural groups and co-operatives.
  • Ensuring that families living in the 30 villages reduce their vulnerability to disasters and the impacts of climate change.
  • Ensuring that 102 women are empowered to express their ideas and participate in decision making at home and in their communities.
  • Ensuring the 519 people in two villages benefit from legally protected communal land.
  • Ensuring that 2,200 people have access to clean water for drinking and to cultivate their crops.