Wildlife Alliance has partnered with YAANA Ventures and Minor Group to secure an 18,000-hectare (44,500 acre) land concession within Botum Sakor National Park in the Cardamom Mountains. This area is especially important to preserve, as it is a vital migration path for elephants, but it is under threat of being destroyed from logging and slash and burn farming. By winning this concession, Wildlife Alliance and our collaborators have successfully kept the land out of the hands of loggers who out clear cut the precious forest. Instead of clear cutting the forest, Wildlife Alliance, YAANA Ventures, and the Minor Group have created the Cardamom Tented Camp to help provide the locals and nationals with an alternative way to earn money that is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

The campsite consists of nine comfortable and spacious tents, each with their own bathroom and patio, which are completely powered by solar panels. The vacation spot is designed to offer visitors an opportunity to live among Cambodian wildlife, such as, Asian elephants, dholes, clouded leopards, pangolins, and much more. Guests can go on educational guided excursions through the rivers and forests. It is also a chance for them to get involved in some of the conservation work in the area, such as assisting in replanting indigenous trees or accompanying rangers on patrols to check on camera traps in the forest. This is a unique and exciting way to support Cambodia’s nature. As John Roberts, the Minor Group’s group Director of Sustainability and Conservation, said, “your stay keeps the forest standing.”

Ecotourism ventures offer locals new job opportunities and produce a reality in which saving and preserving wildlife and nature can generate steady income, as opposed to the transitory and unpredictable economy that comes with logging, poaching, and slash and burn farming. On the outskirts of the 18,000 protected hectares of the forest, logging companies have taken over the Cardamom Mountains and are leaving behind degraded and uninhabitable land. This eco-camp takes a significant stand against irresponsible and illegal deforestation, as its economic and conservation success will prove that there is a sustainable alternative that will have a local, national, and global positive outreach. The remaining percentage of profits that is not reinvested locally is given to Wildlife Alliance to maintain conservation actions and to potentially create more ecotourism endeavors in the future.

To help us continue to protect Cambodia’s forests and wildlife and provide Cambodians with a more secure future through the development of sustainable and eco-friendly jobs donate to our Community-Based Ecotourism Project. Interested in visiting this new ecotourism site? Learn more here.