June 03, 2020, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) cooperated with local communities, the authority of Chom Nuab Village, in Areng, Koh Kong Province, which organized National and World Environment Day 05 June under the theme Biodiversity Conservation, Land Governance and Natural resource management for all. The event was attended by 130 participants who are from local authorities, Chom Nuab community, Professors from the Royal University of Agriculture, and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Dr. TEK Vannara, Executive Director of the NGO Forum, said that we organized this environment day to share knowledge, experience on sustainability, community ecotourism, ethnic identity, forest governance, land governance, natural resources and biodiversity conservation in between communities, CSOs, local authorities, and universities. He added that we chose Areng to celebrate the event because we want to encourage the community to participate in the conservation of biodiversity, land governance and natural resources in Areng, and this area is the last rain forest in Cambodia, as well as in Asia, it is better to contribute to global environmental sustainability, our planet sustainability, community livelihoods, and local community development, especially to preserve the CHONG indigenous culture. With this great opportunity, he also urged the community to actively participate in biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, and sustainable natural resources in the present time and future generations.
Mr. HUENG Pov, Chief of Chom Nuab Communities, his commitment, and encouragement for the local community’s love and care for the environment in which they depend on. He encouraged the community to participate in communal land registration which follows government planning, it is preserved indigenous people’s traditional identity, culture, language…etc. He urged the community to help preserve the local forest which considers the forest is our life, our foods, and our medicine”.
Professor VORN Monin, Former Dean of the Royal University of Agriculture and an advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, explained more on the key term of the environment. Professor explained that we depend on the environment, the environment combined social, cultural, natural resources, and sometimes we indirect use of it. Professor urged that people in this area should not afraid of indigenous community self-identification of land registration. We can spread out Chong’s culture and language to tourists. Besides this, we can improve the environment through land governance for the sustainable development.
Mr. OUCH Mara, Professor Department of Natural Resources and Sustainability at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, shared an experience of community fishery which provide study tours and site visit in their eco-tourism for tourists, which promoting their place and local products for the income. The professor stressed his interests of the Areng community is to turn the area into an ecotourism site, especially in the Areng area rich of potential natural, wildlife, mountain, landscape…which benefit for this sector.