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Tumring REDD+ Project, Cambodia

Arriving at the Tumring project, I was struck by the forest's fragility, a thin green line against human expansion. The forest, once vast and full of life, now stands on the brink. This unmistakable observation highlights the essence of the Tumring REDD+ initiative—to safeguard the remnants of a once flourishing ecosystem.


A Family's Tale

The warmth and concern of the Tumring community were palpable. I stay for some days with a buddhist family who shared their family history. Their grandfather, a survivor of the Pol Pot regime, once sought refuge with four other families deep in the abundant, lush rainforest. Now, their sanctuary supports, 250 families. What was once a river full of life has dried out due to the beaming sunlight and the absence of shade from the trees that are long gone, the fish nearly extinct, drastically reduced by electric fishing that spares none. This transformation from abundance to scarcity mirrors the broader environmental challenges we face globally, emphasising the critical need for initiatives like REDD+ to protect not just forests, but the future of all who depend on them by implementing sustainable alternatives to deforestation and forest degradation.

Protected Forrest vs. Community Land 

Community land is where people live and work, using it for farming and homes, integral to their daily lives. Protected forests are nature's sanctuaries, meant to preserve ecosystems and wildlife, with minimal human interference. Both serve crucial roles: supporting human survival and maintaining Earth's natural balance. The images below are from both the protected forrest and the community land surrounding the forrest's. 

Collaborative Conservation Efforts

The Tumring REDD+ Project in Cambodia is spanning 67,791 hectares of lush semi-evergreen and evergreen forest, this collaborative effort between Korea and Cambodia aims to turn the tide against the forest's decline. In the heart of Kampong Thom province, this project not only safeguards a significant portion of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary but also champions the cause of approximately 250,000 indigenous peoples and local communities.


The Urgent Fight for Tumring's Future

With an alarming deforestation rate of 3.28% from 2010 to 2014—surpassing Cambodia's national average of 2.66%—the urgency of the Tumring REDD+ Project cannot be overstated. This project is not just about conservation; it's a lifeline for biodiversity, local families and wildlife, including species on the IUCN red list.


Conservation in Action

The greatest threats facing this precious landscape include small-scale land conversion, illegal logging, and forest fires. These challenges underscore the critical need for robust forest management and community engagement to secure the forest's future. Through legal support, community forestry, and sustainable livelihood programs, the project is a testament to what can be achieved when conservation and community development walk hand in hand.

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