“Mother Nature Cambodia is a group of fearless young activists fighting for environmental rights and democracy in the face of repression by the Cambodian regime,” said Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of Right Livelihood Foundation, an organization that has been honoring global changemakers with its award – often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, for more than 40 years. “Through innovative and often humorous protests, their activism defends nature and livelihoods, while upholding communities’ voices against corrupt and damaging projects. Despite arrests, legal harassment and surveillance, they continue to fight relentlessly for Cambodians’ environmental and civic rights.”
The NGO "Mother Nature", which was only founded in 2012, has already achieved important successes in nature conservation as a so-called "grass root" movement. With the support of our partner Rainforest Rescue, the conservationists in Cambodia prevented the planned construction of a dam in the Areng River and the continuation of destructive sand mining in the province of Koh Kong. They are currently working to preserve the country's largest island, Koh Kong Island, which is still almost pristine.
The cardamom forests will not sink into the reservoir!
In the vast cardamom mountains indigenous people live in harmony with rare animals such as the Clouded Leopard, the Leopard, the Forest Elephant and the Siam Crocodile. The idyll was in danger: At the Areng River, almost 20,000 hectares of forest would have sunk into a reservoir. After the environmentalists had forced construction companies to abandon the project three times, the plans were finally put on ice. Mother Nature had achieved this with a broad alliance of conservationists, monks, fishermen, farmers, students and children from the Areng Valley as well as good public relations.
Successful against sand theft
Mother Nature was also able to partially prevent the extraction of large areas of sand for export, mainly to Singapore. The NGO continues to fight for the preservation of its natural home in a politically difficult, sometimes dangerous environment against the interests of certain corporations and politicians.
"Save Koh Kong Island"
Mother Nature raised public awareness concerning the government's plan to develop the almost pristine 103 square kilometers of Koh Kong Island for luxury tourism. The activitists are currently organizing protests and media support for the preservation of the island in its natural state and for an alternative eco-tourism concept.