Delegates from 10 countries recently explored the “Srov Met Kriel” or “Crane Rice Field” initiative within the Anlung Pring Protected Landscape in Kampot province, delving into its accomplishments and challenges.

This rice harvest project, a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, NatureLife Cambodia, and BirdLife International Cambodia, with support from IUCN-Netherlands, stands as a model for conservation and community development.

Bou Vorsak, the director of NatureLife Cambodia, said on October 22 that 30 delegates from Oxfam FAIR For ALL paid a visit to the initiative on October 19. The project’s dual mission is to enhance local community livelihoods as well as safeguard sarus cranes.

“We outlined the efforts, criteria, procedures, challenges and factors contributing to our successes in this project. Additionally, we were open to embracing a spectrum of recommendations put forth by the delegation,” he said.

He stated that apart from presenting the project’s encountered challenges and factors contributing to its achievements, the delegation was also briefed on the benefits experienced by farmers who have joined the initiative.

He said that the delegation displayed a keen interest and posed numerous questions to both the project’s production community committee and NatureLife Cambodia. Their inquiries spanned topics such as women’s involvement challenges, sarus crane ecology and the project’s long-term viability.

Now in its third year, the number of participating farmers has risen from 40 to 120 families, and the cultivated land area has expanded to 132ha.

“Overall, the project captured the delegation’s interest due to its innovative nature, providing advantages to both biodiversity and local communities,” he added.

Following an informative presentation, the organisation guided the delegation on a site visit to the “Srov Met Kriel” project within the protected landscape. This visit aimed to provide further insights, encourage engagement in purchasing milled rice from the project and enhance the visitors’ knowledge and experience.