ForumCiv Cambodia supports the communities that are in remote areas or less served by development support, are self-relying, have agency, and can exert and fulfil their rights to governance over their natural resources, improving their livelihood, influencing democratic society, enacting gender equality, and becoming more resilient to environmental and climate changes.
Challenges in Cambodia
The civic space in Cambodia remains limited with difficulties for people to organize, be active in democratic processes or be part of community empowerment and mobilization. The main challenges for an open and active civic space includes inadequate enforcement of legal frameworks and plans; the government’s approach to civil society; constraints to the autonomy of civil society organizations, and issues concerning impunity, political patronage, the judiciary, and corruption.
Despite progress in social and economic development over the past few years, poor and marginalized groups barely subsist in urban areas and across the country, especially in the most isolated and remote areas. These marginalized groups depend on access and control over natural resources for their livelihood and are vulnerable to be abused by external actors who invest in natural-resource exploitation. Communities have lack opportunities to participate in development; and have little or no influence over decision making processes. Despite the legal framework which allows indigenous communities to secure land tenure, their marginalization and vulnerability to land grabbing and forced displacement is prevalent.
Examples of what ForumCiv contributes to
ForumCiv Cambodia supports the role of civil society in marginalized communities, particularly to support community based organizations to be fully inclusive so that as many community members as possible are being represented. It is the community members who should be fully engaged to identify the needs and problems to be addressed, and be supported so they can learn, organize themselves, and build the necessary partnerships to promote sustainable development and democratic society.
Over the years we are proud to have been part of:
- Supporting 271 communities.
- Supported legal registration of 56 organizations.
- Supported communities that provided protection of 716 thousand hectares of forest,
- Which spared 42,2 million tons of carbon from polluting the air.
Strengthening civil society and local communities to increase their influence over decision making has improved environmental and climate impacts as well as combating poverty. For example, in the context where indigenous people derive their livelihood from natural resources, food security and incomes have improved. In some areas such as Save Cambodia’s Wildlife’s direct target communities, poverty rates have been cut down to half, from 17.6% to 9.5%.