Case study - Monks Community Forest
Monks Community Forest is an 18,261 ha evergreen forest in northwest Cambodia. In response to widespread deforestation, the monks of Samraong Pagoda acquired legal protection of the forest, established patrol teams, demarcated the Forest’s boundaries, and raised environmental awareness among local communities. The monks developed unique approaches to law enforcement based on Buddhist principles, demonstrating the power of linking conservation with traditional customs and beliefs. A co-management committee of villagers, government authorities and NGOs has been developed to manage what is now Cambodia’s largest community forest. While logging and hunting are prohibited, villagers may use traditional fishing methods, collect fallen timber for construction, and harvest non-timber forest products like bamboo, wild ginger, fruit and mushrooms.