The practice of illegal logging began in the 1980’s when the Khmer Rouge controlled the central Cardamoms, forcibly evicting people from their forest land and exporting the timber to neighbouring countries. Illegal logging continues to this day and the sustainability of remaining forest and wildlife reserves is under severe threat.
Conserving the natural environment and wildlife of the Samlout Protected Area was one of MJP’s founding objectives. Lack of local resources to ensure protection meant that deforestation and land appropriation was threatening the tropical forest in the northwest.
MJP works in co-operation with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment to conserve this vital ecosystem, rich in biodiversity. Today, a team of rangers and border police funded by MJP patrol the Samlout Protected Area to prevent illegal logging, land encroachment and poaching.
In partnership with the Battambang Forestry Administration and local authorities, MJP has established 11 Community Forestry schemes in 4 communes in Samlout District. We have set-up 4 nurseries that are managed by the community. In 2017, more than 10,000 new trees were planted using the seedlings grown in the community nurseries.
MJP works to empower local people to protect the forest from logging and waste pollution, and increase understanding on the community benefits of conserving the natural environment. Teams of local volunteer rangers are trained to protect and maintain the forest within their communities and to undertake local engagement and education initiatives to help share knowledge on conservation and environmental issues.
Our Eco-Ranger program promotes the protection of Cambodia’s natural wildlife and ecosystem by educating pupils from four schools in the Samlout District. In school clubs and day camps, Eco-Rangers learn about forestry and deforestation, wildlife, water management, bio-diversity, waste management and sanitation.