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The Ecology program empowers communities to restore and enhance crucial surrounding forests.
Many families living in rural villages rely on a healthy, diverse natural world to farm for the food and income they need to survive. But over the past two decades, Cambodia’s natural resources have faced a number of threats—climate change, illegal logging, over-fishing, and biodiversity depletion, to name just a few. Communities simply cannot afford to lose forests as a critical part of the ecosystem. The Ecology program is carried out by our local partner, Jesuit Service Cambodia (JSC), in the rural Prey Thom community of Battambang Province, Cambodia. The key focus is on forest conservation efforts to enhance capacities of local communities. The program team works closely with school communities as a way to teach and empower children to become caretakers of their surrounding environment. Young students, teachers and families can get involved with activities such as managing plant nurseries and the production of seedlings.
Funding from Jesuit Mission and our generous supporters provides the ongoing supply of seedlings to local schools along with tools and training to support a thriving ecology system. These activities are an important ‘hands on’ way to raise community awareness around forest conservation and combat the detrimental effects of climate change—with the youngest generations leading the way.
The project starts with the practice of school children planting trees in their community… And these children then have huge potential to act as change-makers in the future."
– Fr In-don Oh SJ, Jesuit Service Cambodia The program targets the dangerous impacts of the Climate Crisis on vulnerable communities who depend heavily on our natural world to survive. The ongoing loss of surrounding forests is a detriment to community health, safety from natural disasters, livelihoods and, ultimately, the ability to break free from the cycle of poverty. Our focus is to work with local school communities to contribute to forest conservation and raise awareness of the ecology system.
Fr In-don Oh SJ, Jesuit Service Cambodia