Conservation group WWF and the government yesterday launched the second phase of a partnership programme to help forestry and fishing communities.
The $6 million programme will work with 185 forestry communities, 28 land protection communities and 162 fishery communities.
Over four years, the aim is to work with 135,000 people from Stung Treng, Kratie, Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces.
Phase two of the Partnership Programme to Support Forestry and Fishery Communities, led by WWF, will build on experiences and lessons learned from the first phase to scale up its reach and impact in Stung Treng and Kratie and to expand into Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom.
Seng Teak, country director for WWF Cambodia, said: “We will continue to support residents from local communities to protect natural resources. We will urge them to produce products made from natural resources to support their livelihoods.
“Our obstacles to protecting natural resources are illegal logging, hunting and fishing,” he said.
Pheav Sovuthy, deputy secretary-general of the National Council for Sustainable Development, said the government was pleased with the project, which could help communities directly protect natural resources in Cambodia.
“We hope that more than 300 forestry and fishing communities will join together in this project to make it successful,” he said.
Sem Phak, a resident from Stung Treng, said many communities in the province needed support to produce natural products.
“My community produces natural honey to support our livelihoods,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in the first six months of this year police tackled 615 forestry and wildlife crimes, with 376 cases ending up in court and the remaining 239 leading to administrative fines.