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Mother Nature Cambodia NGO

Strategy

In 2015, Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson founded the NGO Mother Nature Cambodia, to campaign with local communities from the Koh Kong region to protect the area´s mangrove ecosystems from the effects of sand mining.

Their work is developed through: Information campaigns - Peaceful protests - Direct actions (i.e. boarding sand-dredging boats)

Objectives

Call upon the authorities and companies to stop dredging until a full investigation on the impacts of their activities on the local environment takes place.

Raise awareness about the implications of dredging for the environment and the communities, and mobilize the communities.

Insist on inclusive consultations with local communities.

Some Risks and Threats

on August 2015, three EHRDs, San Mala, Sim Samnang and Try Sovikea, were arrested and arbitrarily detained on the grounds of 'threatening to cause destruction'
on July 2016, this international and local campaign began to bear fruit, when San Mala, Sim Samnang and Try Sovikea were released.
San Mala, Sim Samnang and Try Sovikea Were ordered to pay fines of $500 each as well as $25,000 in compensation to the dredging company.
Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson was deported from Cambodia in February 2015 following a successful campaign to stop the construction of a hydroelectric dam.
In early 2016, charges were levelled against Mother Nature Cambodia´s co-founder, Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson.
Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson remained two years in prison, he cannot go back to Cambodia, not even to attend his own trial.
Local authorities banned a planned two-day human rights training session organized by Mother Nature Cambodia for Ta Meak community members.

Support

Urgent appeals about the cases of the detained EHRDs have been issued by, inter alia, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, and the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, but to no avail.

Funds, including from Fronline Defenders, Freedom House, and Civil Rights Defenders, helped Mother Nature Cambodia cover the on-going costs of supporting the activists in jail, including by organizing family visits, facilitating communications, and providing food.

In February 2016, a joint statement by 22 human rights organizations was issued declaring support for the organization and condemning the crackdown against the activists.

Credits:

1. Charles Pieters; mangrove 1; January 16, 2011; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 2. Cristina Bejarano; mangroves; September 13, 2012; (CC BY 2.0). 3. Official logo. 4. Zol m; sand dredge; October 22, 2018; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 5. Taken from phnompenhpost.com 6. Global Partnership for Education; Cambodia community preschools; April 24, 2015; (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). 7. Craig Hamnett; prison shutters; December 7, 2014; (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).