The IBIS Rice Story

For generations, Cambodian farmers have worked the land around the forests of the Northern Plains. As a result of the Khmer Rouge period, many farming communities were left with no legal rights to the land, facing many challenges and hardships with limited access to markets for their crops. In the early 2000’s the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) began working in the area, realizing that farmers were in direct competition for forest and land with species like the Giant Ibis, Cambodia’s national bird. 

An approach was needed which would benefit both the local population and the environment. By working together with all stakeholders, WCS, farmers and government establish agreements giving villagers secure user rights for the first time. Knowing their right to live on and use the land was legally secure, encouraged farmers to think longer-term. They agreed to use environmentally friendly farming methods that limit deforestation while protecting critical wildlife. And so the IBIS Rice initiative was born!

The IBIS Rice Story

For generations, Cambodian farmers have worked the land around the forests of the Northern Plains. As a result of the Khmer Rouge period, many farming communities were left with no legal rights to the land, facing many challenges and hardships with limited access to markets for their crops. In the early 2000’s the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) began working in the area, realizing that farmers were in direct competition for forest and land with species like the Giant Ibis, Cambodia’s national bird.

An approach was needed which would benefit both the local population and the environment. By working together with all stakeholders, WCS, farmers and government establish agreements giving villagers secure user rights for the first time. Knowing their right to live on and use the land was legally secure, encouraged farmers to think longer-term. They agreed to use environmentally friendly farming methods that limit deforestation while protecting critical wildlife. And so the IBIS Rice initiative was born!

The Northern Plains

The Northern Plains of Cambodia are the largest remaining intact block of a unique landscape that once covered much of Indochina. The landscape is one of the most spectacular and important areas of south-east Asia for biodiversity, with over 260 bird species and large mammals such as Asian elephants, gaur and banteng. Local communities, who depend on rain-fed paddy or upland rice fields for their livelihoods, supplement these activities with small-scale animal raising and collection of non-timber forest products.

The Giant Ibis

The Giant Ibis is Cambodia’s national bird. It is the largest ibis in the world – double the size of the next largest – and, owing to its rarity and this exceptional size, holds near-mythical status for bird-watchers, naturalists and conservationists. The species is in danger of extinction, with the remaining birds largely concentrated in Cambodia. It has been classified as Critically Endangered, predominantly due to the effects of human disturbance and hunting.

See the Giant Ibis

Book unique birding and wildlife experiences with our partner, Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC).

See Tours

See the Giant Ibis

Book unique birding and wildlife experiences with our partner, Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC).

See Tours

See the Giant Ibis

Book unique birding and wildlife experiences with our partner, Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC).

See Tours

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©2019 IBIS Rice Conservation Co., Ltd.

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©2019 IBIS Rice Conservation Co., Ltd.

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