‘Mangroves are life’: the female conservationists rewilding the Cambodian coast

Positive News

When storms whip up the waves, sending white horses charging to the shore, mangrove forests are often the first line of defence for coastal communities in the tropics.

And with the climate crisis making the weather ever more volatile, people living in these coastal communities are waking up to the benefits of mangrove forests, which also provide a habitat for fish and other marine species.

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

Kampot is one of the provinces worst affected by mangrove clearance in Cambodia. It and neighbouring Kep have seen their mangrove forests shrink by 62 per cent in the last 30 years, according to ActionAid. The charity is working with women in those communities and elsewhere to help them adapt to climate change.