NGO, indigenous communities call for stronger conservation efforts

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
An indigenous communities attended the ceremony. NGO Forum

The NGO Forum on Cambodia and indigenous communities have called for stronger efforts on the conservation of indigenous languages and the development of indigenous peoples in the Kingdom.

The request was made as more than 300 million indigenous people in over 90 countries around the world celebrate the 25th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which annually falls on August 9. This year, the event held a theme of ‘Indigenous Languages’.

Tek Vannara, executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, in a press release said that the International Day of the Indigenous Peoples in Cambodia is celebrated with the aim to promote indigenous peoples’ languages and culture.

He added that the celebration also aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination and accelerate collective land registration of indigenous communities to ensure the protection of their land.

Mr Vannara continued that civil society organisations and indigenous communities ask for the Ministry of Rural Development and all relevant stakeholders to provide additional funding and resources for indigenous children’s education.

“More appropriate life and livelihood training should be provided for indigenous peoples in their development in view of current economic development, social protection and protection in the context of Cambodia’s development,” Mr Vannara said in the press release.

Kroeung Tola, an indigenous community representative from Mondulkiri province said that the government has paid high attention to the indigenous people by creating laws to protect them and promote their rights, as well as continuous collective land registrations.

However, Mr Tola said that indigenous people still have some challenges that have not been resolved, and need more help on the conservation and development of its people.

“We have laws to protect the rights [of indigenous people], the attention from the government, but there is a lack of implementation, because we do not have a museum for indigenous peoples yet,” he said.

Ministry of Rural Development spokesman Chan Darong said that the ministry has been working to help indigenous people through identification and development in indigenous communities, such as road construction, renovation, clean water supply, and rural sanitation, while some other works are under the responsibility of other ministries and institutions.

“The Ministry of Rural Development will be happy to cooperate to provide support to them with any request that is relevant to the ministry,” he said.

According to a report by the Rural Development Ministry, indigenous peoples in Cambodia encompass about one percent of the total population and living in 15 provinces mostly located in the northeast of the country, such as Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kratie, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom and Stung Treng provinces.

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