Located inside Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Sre Preah community protected area (CPA) was established in January 2019. Over 200 families from across three villages in Sre Preah commune—O Chra, Pu Char, and Pu Kong—are members of the CPA. People in these villages traditionally rely heavily on rice cultivation and chamkar, but these activities generate insufficient income to support a household throughout an entire year.
The USAID Keo Seima Conservation Project (USAID KSCP), implemented by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Cambodia, has worked with these communities to establish a bamboo harvesting and processing group, which currently has 27 members, including 15 women. The group manages 69 hectares of bamboo in the CPA, containing four species of bamboo known locally as russey thngor, russey prey, russey khley, and russey roleak. Group members have received training on sustainable bamboo harvesting techniques, business plan development, inventory skills, benefit sharing, and financial management.
Thanks to support from the KSCP, the bamboo group has been able to process bamboo stems into good quality bamboo slats and has so far made two product sales, generating a total of US$ 630.25 for the local community. Moreover, the bamboo group is able to produce bamboo handicrafts through a training provided under the KSCP. The products, such as kettle and tea cups, mugs, tissue box, pen box and speaker stand, produced during the training have attracted a lot of attention from the potential buyers. The revenue from sales of bamboo products is used by group members for household expenses, and a portion is invested in forest conservation in the CPA. The group hope to continue selling processed bamboo, expand the area under bamboo cultivation, and are assessing market demand and production feasibility for other bamboo products.
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