Challenges

Logging and deforestation

Forests in Mondulkiri suffer at the hands of logging companies, affecting local environments. Poor farming practices also strip the soil of useful resources, forcing farmers to destroy more forest to set up farms while they wait for land to recover.


Poverty

Poverty has led to low levels of education (schools, if they exist, only teach for three hours a day, and teachers often demand bribes in return for English lessons). With little money, health services suffer, too. As a result illness can cause large amounts of casualties in villages or cost already poor people money they don’t have to stay well and alive. With little education, villages often get abused by both Cambodian and foreign businesses. Local people also have trouble looking beyond the day - if they have enough money to eat on a given day they’ll stop working, not thinking about saving money for tomorrow’s food, or for calamity. Corruption is also common.


Irresponsible ecotourism

Awareness is important for tourists visiting the area. Always check reviews to ensure elephants and locals are treated well.


Lingering issues

Scars still linger from the wars faced by the Cambodian people. Some elderly rely on the community rather than their children, who were killed by the Khmer Rouge. Mines in the province still pose a threat to villagers and elephants.


Remoteness

Mondulkiri is a large, sparsely populated province and villages are often very far from each other. Only one of those near Sen Monorom currently has year-round electricity. Others may only have it for four months a year, if at all.