Plant a Rainforest in Southeast Asia

by Wildlife Alliance
Forest Rangers confiscating illegally cut timber
Forest Rangers confiscating illegally cut timber

Thanks to your support, Wildlife Alliance has planted over 1 million trees in the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range. Keeping this rainforest intact is crucial because it is part of the Indo-Burma Peninsula in Southeast Asia, one of the most threatened rainforests in the world. With an original habitat encompassing 237,300,000 hectares, only 5% of the Indo-Burma forest remains today and Cambodia represents almost 20% of this remaining rainforest.  

The Cardamom Mountains continues to be a hotspot for illegal logging activities. Thus, deforestation has accelerated at an unprecedented rate in the national park. In an effort to combat this crisis, Wildlife Alliance not only aims to reforest the area, but also to protect the area from illegal loggers. The Southern Cardamom Forest Protection Program prevents deforestation by providing direct on-the-ground protection through six ranger stations that patrol the region by ground, water, and air.

On September 16, Wildlife Alliance rangers successfully carried out a major illegal logging bust and seized large amounts of timber. After a week-long struggle to obtain a search warrant from Kompong Speu's authorities, our rangers successfully located and confiscated 89 pieces (24 cubic meters) of timber, coming from about 75 trees. The illegally cut wood was found just 500 meters from a private sawmill.  The confiscated timber was transported to the local Forestry Administration as evidence to apprehend the loggers. 

Stopping illegal logging in the Southern Cardamom Rainforest by identifying and apprehending trade networks is key to preventing deforestation. Saving one of the most threatened rainforests in the world remains a constant battle and if we stop fighting, we will lose the war. 

Thank you for helping us combat deforestation by allowing us to plant trees in fragmented forest areas! 

Planted trees growing strong to reforest the area
Planted trees growing strong to reforest the area
Unfragmented forest cover, protected by WA
Unfragmented forest cover, protected by WA
Habitat Loss from Slash and Burn Farming
Habitat Loss from Slash and Burn Farming

Thank you for your generous support of our Reforestation Project in Cambodia and helping us to repair the Southern Cardamon rainforest.   Last month, on June 17th, we celebrated World Day to Combat Desertification, a day for people worldwide to unite to counteract one of the greatest environmental issues we face.  Although very prevalent, the meaning of desertification is widely unknown.  Desertification does not refer to the spreading of deserts, but does refer to the persistent degradation of habitats by humans, including unsustainable farming, mining, overgrazing, clear-cutting, and climate change.  This leaves the land highly susceptible to water and wind erosion and results in unfertile soil.  In Cambodia, the problem is exacerbated by the hot temperatures and powerful monsoon seasons. Temperatures are often too hot for crops to survive and the monsoon rains often wash away seeds and soil. Locals rely on slash-and-burn farming as a way to cope with the constantly degrading landscape.

This year’s World Day to Combat Desertification slogan was “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People.” Wildlife Alliance exemplifies this mission with our Forest Protection Program, our Tropical Reforestation project and our Sustainable Livelihoods projects. Wildlife Alliance has protected the earth by preserving 1.7 million acres of forestland.  The Tropical Reforestation Program has restored land by employing local Cambodians to plant and maintain 733,000 trees over 1,811 acres (733 hectares) in areas that had been cleared of rainforest. And the Livelihoods programs have engaged people by providing former poachers and slash-and-burn farmers with sustainable, ecologically friendly jobs. By engaging people and providing them with sustainable alternatives, our programs address the underlying causes of forest destruction in Cambodia.  These jobs not only provide people with higher incomes, but also empower them to replant denuded forest areas and protect the land and its wildlife.  

Thank you for helping us to combat desertification in Cambodia and allowing us to reverse the effects of habitat degradation. We hope you will continue to support this important project! 

Regrowing lost forest areas
Regrowing lost forest areas
Planting young trees.
Planting young trees.

Thank you for helping us restore the tropical rainforests of the Southern Cardamom Mountain Range!  Your gift to the Tropical Reforestation Project directly helps to restore denuded forests 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. The theme of this year's Earth Day, on April 22nd, will focus on planting trees for the earth because they absorb polluted air and excess CO2 from the atmosphere while helping communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. The Tropical Reforestation Project employees are all local Cambodians, earning a susatainable living and helping to ensure the future of one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. 

The Tropical Reforestation Program has been working to maintain the 733,000 trees that were planted over the last 6 years. 733 hectares (1,811 acres) of reforested land is maintained and kept healthy with soil enriching activities.

The Tropical Reforestation Project sites are all areas that have been cleared of tropical forests.  The clear-cut areas experience flooding, soil erosion and runoff, and are plagued by invasive weed species.  In 2015, the projects effort’s focused on maintaining the planting fields and helping seedlings survive and grow. Maintenance work in 2015 involved sustaining grass and plowing between the planting rows, and adding additional grass, compost and natural fertilizer.  These activities ensure that the seedlings grow into a healthy forest.

In 2015, 760,273 seedlings were germinated in the Chi Phat shade net, 122,022 seedlings were transferred from the Chi Phat nursery to the road 48 planting field, 127,147 seedlings were transferred to the Chi Phat planting field and, 47,902 seedlings were transferred to the Sihanoukville planting field. 

Thank you again for your support! We hope you will continue to ensure the success of this vital program. 

One of the reforestation sites.
One of the reforestation sites.
Planting Trees in Koh Kong
Planting Trees in Koh Kong

The Southern Cardamom Mountain Range is a component of the Greater Cardamom Mountains which is the largest continuous block of tropical forest on the Southeast Asian mainland. Situated in the southwest of Cambodia, it represents one of the seven remaining elephant corridors in Asia and the largest tiger range in the region.

This mountain range is made up of mostly dense evergreen forest (also called dense monsoon forest) that forms an ecosystem with lowland melaleuca wetlands, flooded grasslands, lakes and coastal mangroves. However, illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming has resulted in pockets of denuded forest that threaten the functionality of these ecosystems.

Maintaining connectivity of forest cover ensures preservation of ecosystem functions and the Plant a Rainforest Project aims to reconnect fragmented rainforest in order to strengthen and increase continuous forest cover in Koh Kong province. Wildlife Alliance implements a comprehensive field work program from seed collection to nursery germination and propagation, to land preparation with soil enrichment and planting, and post planting treatment to fight invasive grasses, enrich the soil and replace weak plants in order to ensure forest growth over the next years.

In 2015,over 500,000 seedlings were germinated from different 47 species. The project provided employment to over 90 workers from the community of Chi Phat, and the project team has continued maintaining 733 hectares of all reforestation fields located in Chi Phat, Andoung Teuk, and Trapeang Rung and Tatai. This is no easy feat and maintenance activities include spending long days in the sun enriching the soil, growing fibrous grass to prevent erosion, removing weeds, and replacing damaged saplings.

Thanks to your continued support, we have now planted 1 million trees in the region. This is critical for restoring endangered water regulating ecosystem services such as attracting rainfall, recharging of underground aquifers, supplying surface streams, and create resilience to droughts and floods.Thank you again, and we hope you’ll continue to support this important project!

Illegal logging resulting in forest fragmentation
Illegal logging resulting in forest fragmentation
Healthy river and forest ecosystem
Healthy river and forest ecosystem
A rare site of babies and adult elephants
A rare site of babies and adult elephants

For the first time ever, a herd of wild elephants were caught on camera in the Southern Cardamoms of Cambodia. While elephant sightings by locals have been on the rise since 2012, this is the first time elephants have been caught on camera in this part of the country. The discovery of this herd is important confirmation that Wildlife Alliance’s efforts to protect vital wildlife habitat is helping elephant populations recover. Watch the incredible video here.

With renewed impetus and in coordination with World Elephant Day, Wildlife Alliance launched a new campaign to draw attention to the urgent plight of this endangered species. There are less than 35,000 Asian elephants remaining in the wild, and only an estimated 200 elephants in Cambodia. Between 2001 and 2002, 37 elephants were reported killed in the Southern Cardamoms preceding the implementation of Wildlife Alliance’s forest protection program. Since 2006, there have been zero deaths reported. Wildlife Alliance, in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia, operates six forest ranger stations whose mandate is to safeguard 1.7 million acres of tropical rainforest. The Southern Cardamoms are part of a mosaic of Protected Areas and Protected Forests that form Cambodia’s largest intact forest and one of Asia’s last remaining elephant corridors. Wildlife Alliance’s 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. Another 150 workers are employed seasonally during the planting season. Wildlife Alliance’s constant monitoring, repeated awareness campaigns, and strict enforcement of wildlife laws has curbed forest crime in the Southern Cardamoms and given elephant populations an opportunity to rebound. As increasing pressure is being placed on the remaining elephant habitat, and human-elephant conflict is expected to rise, it is important for Wildlife Alliance to continue its comprehensive conservation plan to ensure that this globally significant species is protected.

Thank you for helping us continue to preserve forests and wildlife habitats in Cambodia and reconnect fragmented forests for elephants. Your gift has helped plant and maintain over 733,000 trees, and is mitigating the effects of deforestation, preserving watersheds, and providing livelihoods to local communities, and connecting critical elephant habitat.


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Organization Information

Wildlife Alliance

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sheena Thiruselvan
Development Officer
New York, New York United States

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