MONKS Community Forestry, a conservation group based in Oddar Meanchey province, has been named a winner of the 2010 Equator Prize, the United Nations Development Programme said this week.
Awarded by the Equator Initiative, a New York branch of the UN Development Programme that aims to reduce poverty through conservation, the prize comes with a US$5,000 grant.
According to a letter sent to the group by the UNDP in July, the MCF was awarded the prize for its “strong demonstration of the ingenuity of community-based work”.
MCF director Bun Salouth said he was “very surprised” to learn of the honour. “I am absolutely delighted to be one of 25 winners,” he said.
The MCF was established in 2001, and now has 60 members tasked with guarding the roughly 18,000 hectares of forest under their watch.
The prizes will be distributed at a ceremony on September 20 in New York, during which five of the winners will receive an additional $15,000.