AFD's specialist team works across four core areas of focus within Kampong Thom province. The team actively engage with communities and community based organisations in the delivery of the programs, and actively engage with women and youth supporting their development in community leadership roles.
Natural Resources and Environmental management (NREM)
Perhaps the biggest issue facing rural communities in Cambodia is access to natural resources. Natural Resource and Environment Management is the cornerstone of AFD’s work and provides opportunities for communities to sustainably manage their forest and farming land.
The NREM program is concerned with building capacity of the natural resources dependent communities to have control of the resources and the required skills to manage the resources sustainably. This includes establishing and progressing community fisheries and forests agreements.
AFD’s work in this project area includes training and support to the Community Forest Management Committees, to be informed about their rights, support the community to map and plan for sustainable forest use, setting up patrols to prevent illegal resource exploitation, providing training on sustainable resource use and providing conservation education projects to protect Cambodia's rich biodiversity.
Disaster Relief and Climate Change Adaptation
Cambodia is prone to natural disasters including floods, droughts, typhoons and hurricanes, and is one of the countries predicted to be most impacted by Climate Change, with changing rain patterns, increased occurances of flooding and prolonged droughts. Kampong Thom is an area prone to flooding during the wet season and droughts during the dry season, presenting challenges for the farming and natural resource dependent communities.
AFD was a key responder in the receovery from floods during 2011 and have since been working on new strategies for prevention and emergency provisions for future floods. With the onset of climate change, such natural disasters are likely only to become more common and more severe. To combat this, AFD is also working on strategies to combat the effects of climate change across all its project areas. These are focused on adaptation of farming practices, education on responding to emergencies, and building reslient communities.
The objective of AFD’s good governance program is to strengthen the voice of poor and marginalized community members to be able to influence democratic decision-making processes and to strengthen the local involvement in decisions that impact on their livelihood. AFD’s focus is on increasing the respect that local and national government has for people in rural communities and to listen to their representatives in democratically elected commune councils. AFD also has a commitment to advancing the rights and voices of women in the communities it works with.
With the Natural Resource and Environment Management, AFD’s livelihood program is a central to AFD's work. The livelihood program engages communities to improve income, food security and health. To achieve this, AFD provides specialist training and technical assistance in the areas of home gardens, commercial crops, agro-forestry, non timber forest products, tree nursery and chicken raising. The secure livelihoods project involves training for community members to understand markets, so that they can sell their goods and thus improve their economic situation. The livelihood program is diverse to meet the needs of the communities, and also includes specialist training to the community in the areas of health, nutrition and hygeine; and support for self- sufficient community based savings groups.