Geographical Area: Ratanakiri has 9 districts, and it is a province in Northeastern Cambodia. The word “Ratanakiri” is a derivative of two Cambodian [ citation needed] words, combined to mean “place of gems and mountains.” The word comes from the Sanskrit word Ratna (gem) and giri (mountain). It’s capital, Banlung, is located in the central highlands of the province, approximately 365 miles (586 kilometers) from Phnom Penh. Lomphat, a small town in the southern plains, is the former capital of Ratanakiri. The province is a popular destination for thousands of tourist every year. Ecotourism abounds, due to lush wildlife and remote tribal villages. Most of the inhabitants of Ratanakiri are indigenous minorities. Ethnic Cambodians make up only 10-20% of the total population.

Summary Situation: The livelihood of the indigenous people in Rattanak Kiri province depends on agricultural production: rotating cultivation, up land rice cultivation, cattle, pig and poultry rearing, gathering food from forest, hunting and fishing. Natural Forest is also the main source providing them wild vegetables, leaves and fruits, tubers, wildlife, fish, traditional medicines and construction materials complementing their crop production.

For traditional up land rice cultivation, each family clears forests and burns( slash and burn farming) to prepare plots of farm land to be planted with rice and other cash crop , which has become the internal factor of the NR issues. From 2000-2007, more seriously, the situation of land encroachment, forced land sales and rapid expansion of cash and agro-industrial farms by outsiders have obviously become severe external factor causing a sharp decline in NR than ever.

What we do in this province.

  • Objective 1)Reduce the vulnerability of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on natural resources.
  • Objective 2)Improve the local presence and capacity of civil society organizations and business support to address issues of transparency, accountability, dialogue, participation, access to information, inclusion and equity for pro-poor community development.Currently PKO is working in two communes within 7 villages in Rattanakiri Province. PKO wants to see the communities in these communes holding onto their land, their forest and are able to raise their voice to protect their communities, and also PKO wants to see the economy of these minority people improved.

The following are a variety of main work being implemented by the project team of PKO in Rattanakiri such as:

Small grant scheme to support local CSOs and private sectors

  • Enhance CSOs establishment for livelihood enhancement (SHGs, Associations for local products). (CSO =Community Society Organization)
  • Establish Community forestry and train the committees in community forestry management ( small grant scheme to support local CSOs)

Capacity building to existing CSOs

  • Youth Club Capacity building & networking
  • Training on management, leadership and roles of the activities
  • Train young people in community development
  • Exposure visit among themselves
  • Establish/strengthen Women’s groups and training

Raising NRM’s awareness

  • Establish/strengthen Village Environment Groups
  • NRM workshops at the grassroots
  • Build capacity of CSOs on how to voice and practice their rights on land and NRM issues.