Ecologi Update: A Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary

Cambodia is home to some of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world, and it’s also the location of one of the very important projects being supported by our partners at Ecologi!

As you know, here at Natusan we work with Ecologi to plant a tree for every order and support other vital climate-positive projects. Last week we hit a big milestone in our Ecologi partnership: to date, thanks to our lovely Natusan customers and their cats, we’ve funded over 90,000 trees! And our Ecologi partnership also means we have supported 41 cliamte-positive projects, just like the one we’re looking at today…


The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary

The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS) covers around 290,000 hectares in the south-east of Cambodia, close to the border with Vietnam. It’s a huge store of carbon, and due to its varied mix of forest types and habitats, it’s also a biodiversity hotspot. It’s believed to be home to more than 950 species, including 356 different species of bird! 

The KSWS is a protected area of tropical forest in the east of Cambodia. The area was first established and protected in 2002, and it has had a variety of names and been managed by different organisations. Since 2016, it’s been under the management of the Cambodian Ministry of Environment.

A number of endangered or vulnerable species call the area home, but sadly, some species have already been lost from the KSWS area, with the last tiger being recorded in 2006 - and the tiger officially being recognised as extinct in Cambodia in 2016. 

And it’s not just flora and fauna that call the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary home. The area also has a large human population. It’s part of the ancestral homeland of many Bunong people, an indigenous Cambodian ethnic group. The KSWS is particularly culturally significant to the Indigenous Bunong people, who have been at home in the forest for centuries - and whose livelihoods and culture are intrinsically linked with the forest.


a small waterfall surrounded by trees and foliage in a rainforest


The project

The forest faces a serious threat of deforestation as a result of various factors, including forest being converted into land for agriculture, as well as illegal logging, which is where the project comes in…

In 2010, the KSWS REDD+ Project was launched as part of a collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC). Since then, it has prevented over 20 million tons of CO2e emissions from being released and saved 25,000 hectares of forest from destruction.

The project area covers 166,983 hectares of forest within the SPF Core Protection Area, and while it helps to save trees and prevent emissions, it also has other positive benefits. Since it began, the project has created jobs, supported education and training initiatives, and established an ecotourism business that helps to support the local communities. 

In addition, the project has distributed almost $1 million via a programme called “Cash for Communities” (C4C). C4C is a scheme that shares revenue from the sale of carbon credits, ensuring that the funds go straight to local communities. The communities can then decide how the funds are spent, with sustainable development options including education, healthcare, or vital infrastructure for the community, like wells and bridges.

To find out more about the project, and discover how it meets the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, head to the Ecologi project page.

23/06/2023 by NatuTeam

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