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EditPhoto Title:Ecotourism benefits people and nature in Cambodia’s Veun Sai forest
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EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_69712966.jpg
EditImage Description: Northern buff cheeked gibbon, Veun Sai Conservation Area, Cambodia
EditPhoto Credit:© Kristin Harrison & Jeremy Ginsberg
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In northeast Cambodia stands one of Southeast Asia’s last pristine forests: Veun Sai.

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    EditImage URL:/sitecollectionimages/maps/veunsaiforest.png
    EditImage Description:Map of the Veun Sai forest in northeast Cambodia
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    Home to the last populations of giant ibis, lumbering sun bears and clouded leopards, the Veun Sai forest is also essential to local people, providing food, fuelwood, medicinal plants and fresh water, as well as income opportunities such as ecotourism, agriculture and freshwater fishing downstream.

    But rapid deforestation and degradation, as well as poaching, are taking their toll on the forest’s critically endangered species and the livelihoods of some of Cambodia’s poorest people.

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    Our role

    Conservation International is working to gain legal protection for the 55,000-hectare (136,000-acre) Veun Sai–Siem Pang National Park, declared in 2016. ​CI supports teams of community and forest rangers who patrol the forest, alert officials about illegal logging and educate people on why the forest must remain intact. After the 2010 discovery of a new species of gibbon in the area — the yellow-cheeked crested gibbon — CI researchers habituated a small population of the primate and worked with the local community to develop an ecotourism center, providing the apes a sanctuary in the trees while also offering families a more secure, sustainable income source.


    Our plan

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      EditSection Title:Supporting ecotourism
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        EditImage URL:/sitecollectionimages/ci_90735102.jpg
        EditImage Description:Tour guide
        EditText:Veun Sai may be the only place in the world where tourists can regularly witness the elusive northern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon in the wild. CI supports a local NGO and the local community to promote gibbon-viewing to eco-tourists as a forest-friendly alternative livelihood to logging. Local community members are able to supplement their incomes through working as wildlife guides, cooks and transporter providers and homestay hosts. Tourism income is doubling annually, directly supporting community livelihoods. Profits have contributed to a local school, built a bridge and enabled community members to take low-interest loans to start small businesses.
        EditLink for Header and Image:http://www.cambodiangibbons.com/[Optional]
        EditPhoto Credit:© Nola Lee Kelsey
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          EditSection Title:Funding primate research
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            EditImage URL:/sitecollectionimages/ci_29618644.jpg
            EditImage Description:Northern buff cheeked gibbon, Veun Sai Conservation Area, Cambodia
            EditText:Every year, CI sponsors graduate student research on the monkey populations in Veun Sai’s forests. This research provides better understanding of the impacts of logging on monkeys and helps monitor the health of the monkey population as well as the success of enforcement efforts.
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            EditPhoto Credit:© Kristin Harrison & Jeremy Ginsberg
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              EditSection Title:Training rangers
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                EditImage URL:/sitecollectionimages/ci_95230474.jpg
                EditImage Description:Researchers Santiago Cassalett and Jackson Frechette analyzing fruit seed dispersal in Veun Sai Conservation Area, Cambodia
                EditText:CI provides training to the Cambodian Government’s Forestry Administration rangers on the best practices for patrolling protected areas, helping them to use their limited resources as efficiently as possible to protect monkeys and their forest homes. This training enables rangers to easily collect information during their patrols and use it to target areas facing the greatest threat from illegal logging and poaching.
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                EditCall to Action Title:What can you do?
                EditCall to Action Description:You can make a difference to people all over the world by helping to protect and restore globally important ecosystems, like Cambodia’s Veun Sai forests.
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                EditCall to Action Button Link:/donate
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                EditModule Title:You can also help if you...
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                EditSection Title:SHOP SMART
                EditSection subtitle:Look for labels on wood and paper that show your products were harvested from sustainably managed lands.
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                EditButton text:Learn More
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                EditSection Title:LEARN
                EditSection subtitle:CI helped open a ranger station to help curtail illegal logging and hunting in Cambodia’s Veun Sai forests.
                EditButton link:http://blog.conservation.org/2011/07/cambodian-ranger-station-will-protect-forest-for-gibbons-and-people/
                EditButton text:Read more
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