ActionAid helps women in coastal villages rewild mangrove forests

We’ve written previously about the efforts of ActionAid, a non-profit organization that focuses on training and educating women who live in areas that are deeply affected by climate change to take on climate-adaptive livelihoods that will protect them and their environment.

The first piece we wrote about ActionAid details their initiative in Cambodia that teaches women how to cultivate floating gardens that can withstand the heavy monsoon season and provide enough sustenance to support their community. Research indicates that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts women and that empowering women is one of the most effective solutions for combating the climate crisis.

Another way in which ActionAid is supporting women in Cambodia is through teaching them how to restore and protect the rapidly disappearing mangrove forests that offer their communities protection from harsh weather as well as a natural habitat for fish and marine life.

According to Varou Mat, a schoolteacher and mother of three from Kampot Province, “Mangroves are life. Without mangroves, there is no biodiversity, and our fishermen will lose their income.”

Kampot Province and neighboring Kep are the two that are the most negatively affected by mangrove clearance in Cambodia. Their mangrove forests have shrunk by 62 percent in the last 30 years. This has left villages on the coast of either province vulnerable to storm surges. Nget Mana, a midwife whose parents are farmers in Kampot, says that now, the floods “last a whole week causing damage to crops and infrastructure.”

In response to this, ActionAid has launched a mangrove rewilding project. The organization, in collaboration with communities in Kampot, initially wanted to plant 100,000 mangrove saplings along the shore but have already surpassed this target.

Both Mat and Mana are part of ActionAid’s Women Champions network which uplifts and amplifies the voices of Cambodian women when decisions are being made at the community and government levels. So far, the charity has educated around 50 women across Cambodia about climate science and has encouraged them to play an active role in decision-making for their communities.

ActionAid hopes that their initiative will continue to educate women in the art of climate-adaptive living as well as support women’s rights to contribute to the decisions being made about their community.

Source Image: ActionAid

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