IOM Maps Vulnerability of Cambodia's Indigenous People

Posted: 
06/18/09

IOM this week presented the findings of a six-month assessment
conducted in the remote provinces of Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri
bordering Viet Nam and the Lao PDR.



Most of the population in the two provinces is composed of ethnic
minority groups, who have traditionally relied on the forests and
natural resources to meet their food and livelihood needs.



But rapid economic change now poses a threat to their traditional
livelihoods and is making them increasingly vulnerable to natural
hazards.



Large areas have been logged, weakening the ecological balance and
removing their control over land and access to natural
resources.



The assessment carried out by IOM in partnership with the Cambodia
National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), shows that both
provinces are prone to natural disasters including floods, drought
and insect infestation.



These risks have increased due to deforestation, logging
concessions to large businesses, plantations, climate change and
environmental degradation.



The two provinces are also vulnerable to flooding, drought or
changes in water quality caused by dams across the border in
neighbouring Vietnam.



The findings of the assessment were presented at a workshop chaired
by NCDM Secretary General Peou Samy, who welcomed the assessment as
a breakthrough.

 

"We now have for the first time tangible data relating to the risk
of natural disasters in these two provinces and we will include
them into our national disaster preparedness national action plan,"
he said.



Two short documentaries commissioned by IOM - "The Lizard’s
Tail and The Trech's Nest" - illustrating the findings and showing
how the indigenous communities perceive the threats to their
traditional way of life were also shown at the launch. The films
will be available for wider dissemination in July.



The assessment was funded by Finland and the Spanish Agency for
International Cooperation.

For more information, please contact:

Giuseppe Crocetti

IOM Cambodia

Tel: +85512900224

Email: "mailto:gcrocetti@iom.int" target="" title=
"">gcrocetti@iom.int