From 19 to 24 April 2013, Mr. Yim Sok Sophors conducted a field visit to Ta Veaeng District; the district is located about 50 km from the Ratanak Kiri Provincial Town. Majority of the people lived in the district was Prov, a kind of indigenous people. The purpose of the visit was to select a potential pilot site for the micro-watershed project implementation.
He visited natural forest within Community Protected Areas (CPAs), natural streams, Virack Chey National Park, and he also learned from the community people about main occupations, ecotourism, agricultural market, illegal clearing of the forest land for agricultural purposes.
The community people heavily relied on the natural resources, specifically the indigenous people collected non-timber forest product to support their lives, such as liquid resin, vegetables, medicinal plants, honey, etc. The indigenous people caught fishes for consumption. Soil fertility was good and people did not use chemical fertilizer. Furthermore, some CPAs were established in 2005 by the Provincial Department of Environment, but limited CPA regulation implementation.
Recently, some parts of the natural forest were cleared for farming purposes, such as planting of cashew, cassava, etc. However, the community people had limited knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices or climate smart agricultural practices to cope with the climate change impact. According to the meeting with the community people and local authorities, approximately 70-80% of the total families in the commune lacked of food for consumption.
To improve the livelihood and natural resources within the visited community, some recommendations were provided as follows:
- Increase the agricultural productivity through the practices of climate smart agricultural innovations.
- Small scale water harvesting structures should be established to store water for second crop planting.
- Improve the agricultural market linkages
- Improve access to credit and saving among the community people. The establishment of collective saving group should be considered.
- Promote the ecotourism and ecosystem based management