Cambodian life is all about water. During the wet season the size of Cambodia’s central lake, Tonle Sap, swells tenfold to 10,000 square miles - twice the size of Northern Ireland. 46% of the population of Cambodia work on seasonally inundated land. They live on the rice and fish it provides and build their homes on stilts and floats.
But large areas of wetland are being destroyed to support Cambodia’s fast-growing economy. In just 15 years, half its wetlands have disappeared. A third of the population don’t have access to clean water.
This affects wildlife as well as people. The number of sarus cranes in Cambodia has dropped to less than 1,000 individuals.
We’re helping communities create associations to sustainably manage natural resources, which will support the livelihoods of more than 1,500 people including fishers and farmers. We’re helping growers to produce climate-resilient crops that use less water and don’t need pesticides – so are better for wetlands - yet deliver better yields.
Healthier wetlands will help the sarus crane to survive in Cambodia. People love seeing these beautiful animals so we’re helping to set up sustainable wildlife tourism to benefit local people directly.
Although the project is still in the early stages and the establishment of the site alone is an achievement, we’ve already started to make a big difference to the Cambodian wetland landscape.
Cambodia National Wetland Guidance document, for the wise use of freshwater wetlands in the country