Resin is one of the most important NTFPs collected by rural communities in Cambodia. It is used as a raw material in the manufacturing of varnish, cheap soap, leather making, and sealing wax, as well as for caulking boats and in torches for lighting houses in the village.
Resin is extracted
from dipterocarp trees by making a small cut in the tree which is set alight to induce resin flow. Around Mondulkiri Protected Forest, for example, resin tapping is an important economic activity for more than 40% of the people. There usually exists a traditional ownership system of resin trees where ownership is recognized and respected. Aside from liquid resin, solid resin is also collected, although at smaller scales. Solid resin does not have much commercial value at only 1500 Cambodian Riel per kg (ca. 0.13 USD) compared to liquid resin which fetches about twice that amount per litre.
Resin tapping can be done sustainably but carries considerable collateral risks due to opportunistic hunting by collectors, diseases spread by domestic ox and dogs, as well as disturbance due to fire In response, WWF plans to phase out resin tapping in the core protection zones of its protected areas but will develop schemes to compensate tree owners.. WWF has also implemented educational campaigns spreading knowledge on sustainable practice of resin tapping.