The Rattan Sector

 / ©: Tep Asnarith / WWF-Cambodia
Rattan workers making a sofa at a rattan enterprise in rural Cambodia.
© Tep Asnarith / WWF-Cambodia
Rattans are climbing palms that are extensively used for making baskets and furniture. There are around 600 different species of rattan worldwide, many of which have restricted natural ranges. In Cambodia, 21 species have been identified so far. Rattan is an important commodity in international trade and generates a significant amount of foreign exchange.
In Cambodia, rattan makes a crucial contribution to local livelihoods, and rattan canes are vitally important to farmers as they provide extra income in addition to normal agricultural activities. Forest land encroachment and conversion to other land use purposes as well as over harvesting has put pressure on rattan resources, and rattan is now mainly located in protected area forests.

WWF’s rattan project works throughout the three Greater Mekong region countries of Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia to promote systems of sustainable rattan harvest and production. In Cambodia, the project has also initiated the foundation of the first Rattan Association of Cambodia.