Changed Tapping Climate Climate change and other challenges for resin tappers in the Prey Lang Forest in Cambodia

Start date: 3 May, 2016 End date: 7 July, 2016 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A29617 Countries: Cambodia Institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Grant recipient: Corinna Vogt Total grant: 13,000 DKK



Cambodia´s rural population depends predominantly on agricultural productivity, which is based mainly on natural climate conditions. However, changes in rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures affect crop yields significantly and alternative income activities are needed.
Recent studies have focused on resin tapping as one of the most important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to generate additionally income for forest communities. However, so far little attention has been paid if forest communities can rely on tapping activities in the near future in the Prey Lang Forest,
Cambodia. Although many research projects concentrated on climate change in developing countries, less is known about concrete impacts on resin tapper´s livelihoods.
Interviews with 41 resin tappers in the Prey Lang area and discussion rounds with 11 key informants were conducted to gather relevant data in regard to current threats and challenges of resin tappers, as well as to get deeper insights on tapping and processing methods. Own findings from field research were compared with previous studies and information from scientific literature added to get a complete picture of resin tappers´ involvement in the resin value chain and to identify possible improvements.
The results show that tappers have to deal with various challenges in the present time. One of the most serious threats are inter alia logging activities, economic land concessions, and climate change.
According to findings from this study, significant improvements in the first links of the resin value chain are not urgently required since the majority of tappers use sustainable tapping and collecting practices.
Promising improvements are rather possible within processing methods and access to markets, as well as forest protection, fair regulations, and legal requirements in terms of tenure structures and logging activities.
Furthermore, the thesis demonstrates how strong global warming affects Cambodia´s forest communities and how urgent measures against further negative impacts caused by climate change are needed. The analysis of weaknesses in the resin value chain and challenges of resin tappers might help to identify new solutions and improvements to save traditional livelihood activities of Cambodia´s rural population and to give thought-provoking impulses for future research projects.