Peace Bridges Organization, along with local communities and forest activists, organizes an annual tree planting event in a community forest each year. This is a unique opportunity for Cambodians of all faiths and backgrounds to cooperate and and learn from the local community's nonviolent efforts to protect the forest. The goals of this event are to restore heavily deforested areas of land, engage and educate youth about the environment, and mitigate the global threat of climate change.
In recent years, a combination of corruption, irresponsible development, and illegal activities has exacerbated deforestation, land disputes, and other environmental conflicts in Cambodia. Deforestation and illegal logging severely affect the people living in and around the forests. This project will benefit these communities who rely on the forest for their livelihoods and educate the broader Cambodian society about the dire situation in Cambodia and what they can do to help.
Peace Bridges Organization organizes one large event and smaller ones throughout the year to restore deforested areas of Cambodian forest. The locations are determined by local communities who commit to protecting the young trees. Participants share stories, skits, and traditional songs to educate others about deforestation, the value of natural resources to local communities, and how they are using nonviolent peacebuilding to protect the forest and land.
Cambodia experiences one of the fastest rates of deforestation. Over 350,000 people live around the Prey Lang Forest, one of the last remaining lowland forests. This project will help restore the forest area and improve the livelihoods and quality of life for those dependent on it. This 3 to 4-day immersive event targets youth, local communities, various faith groups, and duty-bearers in hopes that they will act on their collective responsibility to restore and protect Cambodia's forests.