Restoration Satoyama Landscapes in Three Regions of Cambodia: Activities and Lessons Learned
SUBMITTED ORGANISATION :
Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON)
DATE OF SUBMISSION :
Cambodia (Battambang, Mondulkiri, and Kampong Cham Provinces)
MACHITO MIHARA Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON), Tokyo, Japan/ Faculty of Regional Environment Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan LALITA SIRIWATTANANON Ratchamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani, Thailand JEERANUCH SAKKHAMDUANG Institute of Environment Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON), Tokyo, Japan Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan
Cambodia is a country being rich in natural resources, especially forests that cover 59.09 percent of the country (FAO, 2010). Agriculture plays an important role in Cambodia, with more than 70 percent of population is engaging in agriculture sector, especially in paddy rice farming. The farming systems in Cambodia are mainly subsistence oriented, low input and depend mainly on rain water except in the well managed irrigation system areas.
Based on the Cambodia population census in 2008, the total population is 13.4 million people with 20 percent living in urban area while the rest of 80 percent living in rural area. The population density is 75 persons per square kilometer (National Institute of Statistics, 2008).
Photo 1 Mosaic landscapes of forest and farmland
Activities for restoring Satoyama landscapes
In 2010, the first program year, workshops on “Restoring and Conserving Satoyama for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” were conducted at 6 villages and 6 elementary schools of Kampong Cham, Battambang and Mondulkiri Provinces. Moreover, pamphlets of “Restoring and Conserving Satoyama for Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” were distributed to participants.
Photo 3 Workshop for elementary school students
Photo 7 Practicing seed propagation
Photo 8 A villager take care trees in nursery
Photo 9 Many women attending reforestation activity
Photo 13 Reforestation in elementary school in Mondulkiri
Photo 14 Workshop in Battambang
Outcome from extension activity
The program helped the villagers in the program areas deepen their awareness of the importance of restoring and conserving Satoyama landscapes through the workshops and seminars. Moreover, the villagers gained more knowledge about seed propagation and nursery management through the training. Reforestation activities in the villages and the elementary schools have succeeded in increasing the number of trees and biodiversity in the areas. Experiences and knowledge from this program are disseminated to raise awareness about natural resource conservation among local people in other areas.
According to the limitation of natural resources in the area, we found that the biodiversity in home garden of villagers in the area is very high. The reasons are because the villagers have small farmland area and there is no forest resource to depend on. Then, they try to assimilate the diversity of forest in their backyard for ensuring food and fuel wood security.
Due to the limited natural resources, villagers in Kampong Cham set a network of seeds sharing among villages. By sharing tree seeds, villagers can increase diversity in their village by doing reforestation and growing trees in home garden.
As mentioned before, villagers in Battambang are slightly depending on forest resource. Moreover, their income is generated from several kinds of cash crops that make them always busy with farm works. That situation resulted only small number of villagers attended reforestation activity. However, after monks from a temple near community forests started to participate in reforestation activity, numbers of villagers participating in reforestation also increased.
It can be concluded that local institutes such as school or temple has strong influence to community. It is recommended to involve the mentioned local institutes to collaborate conserving and restoring natural forest in community level.
In Mondulkiri, the area is surrounded by natural forests. To encourage villagers to grow more tree are not easy. However, school teachers and students, number of villagers that participated in reforestation activity has continued to increase. One of the constraints for conducting activity in this area is language. As main population of Mondulkiri Province is Phnong ethnic group that has their own language and some cannot understand Khmer language. Local coordinator who can understand local language and can communicate well is indispensable.
It can be observed that types of trees that villagers want to grow for reforestation are multipurpose trees and fruit trees that cannot find in forest area.
During the 3 years of implementing the program, several activities were done for restoring and conserving Satoyama landscapes in Cambodia. However, more activities should be implemented to restore and conserve Satoyama landscapes in Cambodia. Especially in Mondulkiri, agro-forestry should be introduced to prevent soil erosion as well as to decrease the intensity of slash and burn farming practices. In Battambang, low-input agricultural system should be promoted to decrease the effects of agro-chemicals on the soil and water environment. Additionally in Kampong Cham, effective utilization of natural resources should be promoted, especially focusing on the cyclic use of farm residues.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the MITSUI& Co., Ltd. Environment Fund for the financial support to this program as well as MoE, RUA and UNU-IAS for their collaboration in this program. In addition, we are very appreciated the support and participation of villagers in three provinces.
Food and Agriculture Organization. 2010. Asia-Pacific forestry sector outlook study II. Working paper No. APFSOS II/WP/2010/32
National Institute of Statistics. 2008. General population census of Cambodia. Ministry of Planning, Cambodia
United Nation Development Program and The Global Environment Facility. 2010. Building capacity and mainstreaming sustainable land management in Cambodia. Project summary