CBOs Contribution to River Patrolling in Ramsar Site
Paying back to the ecosystem services provided by nature in Ramsar site, some livelihood CBOs members are contributing to the conservation actions by donating some of their income from farming activities to the river patrolling teams.
Local livelihoods in Ramsar Site are highly reliant on the surrounding natural resources. In this area, people are making their livings from catching fish from the Mekong River, going to the forest to collect wild fruits and vegetables in addition to their subsistence farming of rice and livestock.
In 2005, CRDT started to work with local people in Ramsar site to improve their livelihoods and support conservation fighting against illegal fishing and deforestation. This work has continued up to now with a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through WWF. The project objective is to improve livelihood, income generation to support Ramsar natural resource conservation. The project focuses on agriculture activities such as pig and chicken raising, rice and vegetable growing, and group savings.
Starting from 2010, Livelihood Community Based Organizations (CBOs) were established and recognized by the Commune authority with each of their by-laws stating that 2-5% of their interest income will be paid to the conservation of the Ramsar site. In 2012, 13 among 27 CBOs started to contribute their interest from saving activities to support river patrolling activities. So far, from the total savings of 167,446,900.00 riel (USD 41,861.72), the interest of 6,543,800.00 riels (USD 1,635.95) was earned and 2-5% of it approx. 196,314.00 riel (USD 50) was contributed to some Fishery Communities in Ramsar site.
This amount is small but it is a good starting point. In the future there will be larger amounts available to support conservation activities when more and more CBOs members understand about the interrelated connection between livelihoods and conservation and feel the need to protect the nature they are relying on.
By Kheng Bungheng, Project Manager in Stung Treng Project Site