Ever since the Cambodian civil war started coming to an end and the first elections were held in the early 1990s, the Cambodian government has prioritized 'development' and 'poverty reduction' as two of its most important policies. This has been used as a pretext by a small elite of well-connected individuals and corrupt, ruthless government officials to amass vast fortunes, causing widespread destruction of the nation's natural resources and gross human rights violations.
Despite the vast amount of financial and human resources the international community has thrown at protecting Cambodia's once-pristine natural environment, destruction of nature in Cambodia goes on unabated.
Fully aware that the formula for nature conservation in Cambodia has not worked, and with the ultimate aim of halting this wave of destruction, we created Mother Nature Cambodia in 2012.
+ Urgency - Cambodia's natural resources are being systematically destroyed at a very rapid rate by vested interests. This has to be effectively exposed, tackled, and ultimately stopped, fast.
+ Bravery - Cambodia is anything but a democratic regime. In some of the areas we work, criminal enterprises, in most cases with outright support from individuals in charge of state organs, rule with impunity. Cambodian human rights and environmental activists have been in the last few years killed, jailed, judicially-harassed and endlessly repressed. Yet, despite these huge obstacles, our activists, and the brave communities we work with, still strive.
+ Innovation & Effectiveness - The criminal enterprises that are destroying Cambodia's natural resources, are engaging in very serious human rights violations, are well-connected and very effective money-making machines.
To be able to stop them, we must not only use our hearts, but our brains too.
+ Peaceful, direct action can help minimize and eventually stop the systematic destruction of our country's natural resources. Our activists must be masters at coordinating and leading peaceful movements that include local communities, activists from across the country, civil society at large, and any other stake holders.
+ Exposure of these crimes on mainstream and social media and any other means is a vital tool we must make good use of. This informs and engages the public, puts pressure on decision makers, and helps inspire others to become activists.
+ Solidarity – we recognize that many Cambodians living in close connection with nature and depending on its fruits for their livelihoods, are under assault by agencies seeking to undermine their rights. We commit to supporting these communities in their struggles to retain their land and culture and identities.
+ Campaign and advocate in Cambodia and internationally for the preservation, promotion and protection of Cambodia's stunning, yet-under-threat natural environment;
+ Monitor, scrutinize, expose and challenge actors such as companies and government departments that damage or plan to damage Cambodia's natural environment;
+ Raise awareness, educate, empower and engage people in Cambodia and internationally about the value of Cambodia's natural environment and encourage them to get involved in acting to protect the environment;
+ Provide training, financial support, advice and opportunities for environmental and human rights activists in Cambodia;
+ Support struggles by local people, such as farmers, fisher folk and indigenous communities, who are struggling to defend their environment and human rights. Support their efforts to uphold their human rights, land rights, culture and livelihoods;