Plant a Rainforest in Southeast Asia

 
$1,768
$8,232
Raised
Remaining
The tree nursery
The tree nursery

Thank you for supporting the Tropical Reforestation Project, your gift is helping us restore deforested land in the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range! This vital program works to restore denuded forest through seed collection, nursery germination and propagation, soil enrichment and planting, post planting treatment to fight invasive grasses, and the replacement of weak plants in order to ensure forest growth over the next few years.

The Tropical Reforestation Program has been working to maintain the 733,000 trees that were planted over the last 5 years. 733 hectares (1,811 acres) of reforested land is maintained and kept healthy with soil enriching activities.

Many steps have been taken to improve soil quality and reforestation success of the Chi Phat, Andoung Teuk, and Road 48 reforestation sites. The reforestation and planting sites are areas of previously cleared out tropical forests. These areas experience flooding and sediment run-off during the rainy season, and are plagued by invasive weed species. In 2014, the Reforestation program planted rows in planting areas to improve pH levels and organic matter in the soil. Fibrous grass was grown throughout planting fields to protect the soil from heavy rains and erosion. Additionally, seedlings transferred to planting areas were planted in a method to recreate forest diversity with various tree species.

In 2014, 889,234 seedlings were collected from trees in surrounding forests. 728,998 seedlings were germinated in the Chi Phat shade net. From January through December, a total of 48,954 seedlings of 31 varieties were transferred from the Chi Phat nursery to the CADP nursery for Road 48 planting, 44,589 seedlings of 48 varieties were transferred to the Chi Phat planting field, and 5,820 seedlings were transferred from Chi Phat nursery to Sihanoukville planting field.

Thank you again, and we hope you’ll continue to support this important project!

Maintaining the fields
Maintaining the fields
Saplings moved from the nursery to shade nets
Saplings moved from the nursery to shade nets

Deforestation threatens thousands of species and has devastating consequences for humans. Forest loss jeopardizes human food and water security, threatens plants and animals with extinction, and contributes to climate change, putting communities and wildlife at increased risk of floods, droughts, infectious disease, and other natural disasters.

Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project combats the impact of illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming practices while providing jobs to local residents. Eighty-two workers, primarily women, work in our tree nursery and care for the saplings year-round.

To date, Wildlife Alliance has replanted more than 733,000 trees in this region. In Cambodia, the winter months are the dry season, and not much planting happens in the fields. The Reforestation teams work on maintaining existing fields and growing seedlings in the nursery. From October to December of last year, the project worked to maintain over 595 hectares of planted forest. This is no easy feat; they spend long days in the sun enriching the soil, growing fibrous grass to prevent erosion, removing weeds, and replacing damaged saplings. In the nursery, the teams peeled and sowed seeds, transfered over 40,000 seedlings from the greenhouse to the shade net, and collected over 262 kgs of indigenous seeds.

Thank you for supporting this vital project, your gift is helping us restore the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range!

Maintaining Reforested Land
Maintaining Reforested Land
Sao joined the project in 2008
Sao joined the project in 2008

“Despite the difficult work, seeing trees grow makes me happy,” declared Sao, a shy 24-year-old woman who has been working at Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project in Chi Phat since its inception in 2008. Over the years, Sao has dedicated her life to reconnecting fragmented forests in the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range. She knows the painstaking process that goes into the planting and nurturing of a seed into maturity. She understands from first-hand experience that it is not enough to just plant a seed. A great deal of work and care is required for each seedling to survive, and once planted, must be continually maintained and protected. It pains her to see the prolific illegal logging that plagues the region, “I’ve been working at the project for over five years now, and I have come to thoroughly understand what it really takes to bring back trees lost to deforestation.”

Sao says she feels lucky to be working at Wildlife Alliance’s Reforestation Project. She cares deeply about her work, and has helped grow and maintain over 733,000 trees on 1,811 acres of reforested land. She believes that work at the Project has completely changed the course of her life. With no education, and as a young, unmarried woman in rural Cambodia, Sao had very few opportunities available to her. However, her steady income has lifted her out of poverty and is helping her realize her dream of one day opening a small grocery store in Chi Phat. Her life changed even more drastically in 2011 when she married her friend and coworker Vuthu. The couple plans to build a house together in Chi Phat and start a family soon.

Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project in the Southern Cardamom Mountains employs 114 community members, providing them with a steady income and an alternative to slash-and-burn farming. Help us continue to not only restore the Southern Cardamom Mountains, but also make a difference in the lives of community members like Sao by making a gift today!

Sao has helped the project plant 733,000 trees
Sao has helped the project plant 733,000 trees
Forest Destruction
Forest Destruction

Desertification is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face, and yet most people do not fully understand it. In order to bring attention to this critical issue, we recently celebrated World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. Desertification does not actually refer to the spread of current deserts, but rather the irreversible degradation of soil through human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable farming, mining and overgrazing. It occurs when trees and root systems that bind the soil are removed causing topsoil erosion, and when unsustainable farming practices severely deplete nutrients. The result is an infertile mix of dust and sand that transforms fragile ecosystems into barren deserts while displacing the communities that depend on the land.

This year’s theme focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation and emphasizes the benefits of sustainable land management policies and practices. Since 2001, Wildlife Alliance has preserved 1.7 million acres of forestland and planted over 730,000 trees. Through advocacy, reforestation and law enforcement, we work tirelessly to preserve remaining forest cover and reconnect the canopy in the Southern Cardamom Mountains for the people and animals that depend on it.

Aerial View of Forest Destruction
Aerial View of Forest Destruction
Planting trees to reconnect degraded forests
Planting trees to reconnect degraded forests
Topsoil erosion prevents the growth of trees.
Topsoil erosion prevents the growth of trees.

Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project has taken another step towards fulfilling its goal of reconnecting fragmented and depleted rainforest in the Southern Cardamom Mountains in Koh Kong province. In January, Reforestation staff built a canal in Tatai to mitigate topsoil erosion that prevented the growth of trees and plants in the planting fields.

Topsoil erosion is one of the leading concerns in rainforest reforestation efforts - especially in an area known to have been denuded through slash-and-burn farming like the Southern Cardamoms. Slash-and-burn cultivation destroys the top layer of soil, making it useless for planting after one growing season. This means that slash-and-burn farmers move on each season, destroying more forest and leaving it unable to support future flora. With topsoil washing away during the yearly monsoon season because it is unprotected from the rains due to both slash-and-burn and illegal logging, the forest area is left effectively destroyed for the future. The Tropical Reforestation Project aims to reverse these practices and restore continuous forest cover while providing a sustainable livelihood to local community members who once destroyed the forest.

Maintaining topsoil has plagued our reforestation project since its inception in 2009. In the absence of nutrient-rich topsoil, plant life struggles to grow and ceases to exist. Therefore, it can be nearly impossible to grow new trees in areas subject to topsoil erosion, which is widespread in this particular region. But, with the expertise of Wildlife Alliance and our Tropical Reforestation staff, topsoil erosion is becoming less of a limitation. In Tatai specifically, topsoil erosion was hampering any viable reforestation effort. However, in January, tractor plows dug water drainage canals at the site. Now, water is prevented from flowing across the fields during the monsoon season, thus allowing trees and plants to grow healthily. To date, Wildlife Alliance has replanted more than 733,000 trees in this region. Through new projects and lessons learned, like the implementation of drainage canals, we are continually helping to ensure these trees can grow and mature, and eventually restore forest cover in the Southern Cardamoms.

Southern Cardamom Forest
Southern Cardamom Forest

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Organization

Project Leader

Chloe Lala-Katz

Communications and Finance Field Liaison
New York, New York United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Plant a Rainforest in Southeast Asia