Empowering Changemakers

Alternative sustainable livelihoods in Mondulkiri

Project summary

OneAction is contributing to the development of alternative sustainable livelihoods to deforestation in Eastern Cambodia while guaranteeing food security for local communities and protecting biodiversity.

Projects   alternative sustainable livelihoods in mondulkiri   2016   3 Projects   alternative sustainable livelihoods in mondulkiri   2016   1 Projects   alternative sustainable livelihoods in mondulkiri   2016   2 Projects   alternative sustainable livelihoods in mondulkiri   2016   4


Empowerment, Environment, Sustainable livelihoods

Project duration



Direct: 438 participants
Indirect: 500 community members


Total budget over 3 years: CHF 243,047
Funds still needed : CHF 36,649 (including the final impact evaluation)


More than a third of the population of Mondulkiri, in eastern Cambodia, lives in rural poverty. The rates are higher among indigenous communities (essentially the Bunong minority) situated in the Seima Protected Forest (SPF), who are confronted with food insecurity.

Despite being a protected area, this region is threatened by the intensive exploitation of the forest, characterized among other things, by land grabbing, deforestation and commercial hunting. These activities represent a significant risk, not only for biodiversity but also for the livelihoods of indigenous populations who mainly depend on natural resources.


Our partner

OneAction is collaborating with the Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) a cambodian initiative who's mission is to sustainably improve food security and living standards of rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia. In partnership with local organizations, as well as international conservation institutions, CRDT provides support to communities in the province by helping them address the risks linked to the forest's intensive exploitation thanks to the development of alternative sustainable livelihoods. The majority of its employees come from Cambodian rural areas guaranteeing strong links with the communities.

Since 2014, CRDT and OneAction are collaborating to improve the living conditions of the communities of Mondulkiri, while increasing their food security, developing alternative revenues over the long term, and reducing unsustainable activities to protect biodiversity.

The project

Empowering communities to develop sustainable livelihoods

In order to increase the food security of local communities and help them become more autonomous, OneAction and CRDT conduct trainings in community-based organizations (CBOs) established in three villages. These CBOs have been renewed and reinforced to conduct their daily administration tasks, manage resources and set up various projects aimed at improving the community's wellbeing. Moreover, the field team carries out workshops to provide CBO members with the tools to grow their own vegetables and raise their own poultry using environmentally-friendly techniques. Thanks to these initiatives and to a personalized coaching, participants have the possibility to increase their food production for their own consumption and to sell on the market.

Supporting the development of micro-enterprises and facilitating direct market access

In addition, with the goal of encouraging communities to develop their own micro-enterprises, OneAction has injected rotating funds that have been added to the sum accumulated by savings groups within the CBOs. Thanks to these funds several families have already been able to launch and elaborate their sustainable income-generating activities. To ensure the continuity of these activities, the final phase of the project is essentially dedicated to optimizing the production and reinforcing market access.

Improving infrastructure and raising environmental awareness

In parallel, OneAction and CRDT contributed to improving the existing infratructure by building, in partnership with the population, rainwater collectors, toilets, as well as a community shop. Furthermore, the team raises awareness on environmental issues and provides ecological advice to individuals.

Expected results

  • Improved living conditions for the communities of Mondulkiri Province thanks to the increase of their food security and revenues over the long term;
  • Reinforced community organizations that manage sustainable activities and community production, and that benefit from a stronger negotiating power;
  • Communities empowered to develop their own sustainable livelihoods;
  • Market access secured for community products, guaranteeing the success of economic alternatives and the CBOs' autonomy;
  • Deeper understanding of environmental issues and existing solutions within local communities;
  • Decrease in unsustainable practices and biodiversity conservation, leading to soil enrichment, carbon sequestration and the restoration of aquifers.


  • The necessary tools will be transmitted so that CBOs can successfully manage their activities;
  • Thanks to various workshops and trainings with beneficiaries and local authorities, a relationship will be established between the two parties so that CBOs can naturally approach the authorities when they have a request;
  • We will continue regular follow up throughout the project and will set up additional trainings if we observe shortfalls;
  • OneAction has already supervised a baseline survey at the beginning of the project in partnership with the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and will lead a final impact evaluation at the end to draft recommandations and eventually replicate the model in other communities; 
  • OneAction will disengage, and if necessary, CRDT will remain available to advise beneficiaries in the field.

Projects   alternative sustainable livelihoods in mondulkiri   testimonial

« I wish for us to be able to improve our living conditions together, because we are all in the same community ».

M. Sitha, project beneficiary

Some facts and figures about the project


  • 8 community organizations reinforced;
  • 8 rotating funds injected;
  • More than 30 families are using the rotating funds to develop their activities;
  • More than 20 workshops conducted on vegetable growing and poultry raising using environmentally-friendly techniques;
  • 1 community shop and 1 model eco-farm set up;
  • More than 300 persons participated in village meetings, as well as meetings with communal authorities, village chiefs and CBO representatives;
  • More than 130 persons participated in trainings on the elaboration of business plans;
  • More than 100 persons received individual follow-ups and personalized coaching on the development of their sustainable economic alternatives and received ecological advice;
  • 7 events to raise environmental awareness have been organized (waste-management campaigns, environmental education within schools, film viewings and interactive trainings);
  • And more...