The Cardamoms rainforest is a major water source for Cambodia. Every year, the Cardamoms generate some 3,000-4,000mm of rainfall. So how come communities in the Cardamoms find themselves without water to drink? For some, the cost of a rainwater barrel can run too high. For others, the barrel isn’t enough to get them through the dry season. As UNICEF and the WHO write, the cost of access can be the biggest hurdle to improved access to water. T
When faced with these high costs, some turn to the forest to quench their thirst. Cutting a tree, or trapping an animal today means enough money for drinking water tomorrow.
The Southern Cardamoms REDD+ Project provides an alternative that benefits both people and the planet. As the impact company the South Pole point out:
“By protecting the rainforest, the project ensures the vital ecosystem services continue to function: the catchment area provides fresh water to the largest mangrove forest in the region, and supports the regulation of climate for the South Asian peninsula.”
This rainfall directly supports thousands of villages and countless wild animals, including 60 globally threatened species that call the Cardamoms landscape home. The forest is an important refuge for Asian elephants, Sun Bears, and Clouded Leopards, to name just a few.
That’s why, at Wildlife Alliance, we protect the Cardamoms. Our rangers patrol by land, air and water to protect the rich biodiversity of the rainforest, and ensure that Cambodia can continue its legacy as the Kingdom of Water for generations to come.