According to a Ministry of Planning/UNDP poverty study in 2010, Mondulkiri province was one of the six provinces having high poverty in Cambodia with an average poverty rate in 2010 of 35-42%. The province population is composed with 71% of indigenous peoples of which 60% are Phnong the rest are Toumpon, Kroeung, Kraol and Charay.
In Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary
(PPWS) and Mondulkiri Protected Forest
(MPF) specifically, the indigenous communities are highly dependent of natural resources. They suffer from lack of access and tenurial rights, limited (co) management options to natural capital, lack of land titling, lack of support in livelihood enhancement and alternatives. The Phnong are subsistence farmers living in small communities in the forests. Traditionally, everything the Phnong need to survive comes from the forest.
In the context, the project is taking action to assure access to natural resources, especially forest resources through set-up of Community Conservation Forests
(CCF), Community Protected Areas
(CPA) and to improve revenues and access to more diverse incomes opportunities, including ecotourism. 13 CCFs and CPAs are being established to ensure security of access to traditional natural resources and 12 community small-medium enterprises to provide increased income of 20%.
Through a value-chain approach, the project will build community capacity and opportunities to add value to traditional non-timber forest products (honey, resin, bamboo), to access alternative markets and to secure appropriate ‘green’ buyers, coupled with improving business support services and benefit sharing mechanisms for community enterprises.