Cambodia: Save the Resin Trees, Save the Forest

Cambodia: Save the Resin Trees, Save the Forest

Implementing a Dipterocarpaceae species-focused strategy to save the Prey Lang forest landscape in Cambodia

Partner: University of Copenhagen
Période: 2020-2022

Despite the establishment of the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary in 2016 in Cambodia, illegal industrial logging still threatens this ecosystem. This project focuses on saving the Prey Lang forest landscapes by involving local communities in the protection of oleoresin tree species and reducing illegal industrial logging.

The Prey Lang forest landscape in central Cambodia is one of the largest and most biologically significant lowland evergreen forests remaining in Indochina. Prey Lang has always been vitally important to the local indigenous Kuy communities who depend on it for food, medicine, wood and non-timber forest products, most notably oleoresin from multiple Dipterocarpus species. The Cambodian government established the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary in 2016, covering 430’000 hectares of the landscape. Industrial logging degraded southern parts of Prey Lang until at least 2003 but organized illegal industrial logging in Prey Lang has remained a problem to this day. If Prey Lang is to be saved, there is tremendous need for local communities to become more active in forest protection.

The project will focus on local community protection of resin trees because of their economic and symbolic importance. By saving the resin trees and keeping people active in the forest, illegal logging should be significantly reduced, and the forest landscapes saved.