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New tree cover bringing back the rain in Cambodia

Date: 24-Jan-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Climate change is affecting Cambodia in a big way, causing erratic rainfall, floods and droughts. Image: Pexels © Pexels

Climate change is affecting Cambodia in a big way, causing erratic rainfall, floods and droughts. Image: Pexels

A community reforestation and environmental regeneration project in Cambodia’s mountainous Kulen national park has seen rainfall return to the area after several years of drought.

Over recent decades illegal logging of the national park resulted in dramatic tree cover loss and, as a result, vastly decreased rainfall. This represented a severe threat to community longevity with most people relying on rain-fed agriculture as their primary food source.

In 2014, the UN Environment collaborated with the Cambodian government and a number of partners to establish an ecosystem regeneration project in the region. This would involve the establishment of a tree nursery, provision of information and expertise on how to tend to trees and support for patrol groups protecting the local forest from illegal loggers.

Since the project’s birth, over a quarter of a million trees have been planted and the nursery has successfully grown over 100,000 seedlings. Many of these seedlings have gone into home gardens, which coupled with the digging of wells for irrigation and rearing of chickens for protein, has greatly reduced the community’s reliance on rain-intensive crops such as rice.

The biggest success story out of the project, however, is the increased forest canopy, which has encouraged the return of heavy rains to the area.

“I’ve seen how when this nursery produces seedlings and restores the forest cover, we get more rain and a better rice harvest,” Thuch Ron, head of Chuop Tasok’s community protected area, told the United Nations Environment Programme.

“I am proud to have set up this nursery in Cambodia, at the top of the mountain. And I’m proud to have brought the rain back.”

An additional benefit of increased tree canopy in the area is the increased habitat for local bees, which produce wild honey. Locals collect the honey and sell it in markets at the bottom of the mountain.

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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