Ibis Rice farmer Srey Bunang, left, and her neighbor, Nary, stand near their rice paddies in Kea Sway, Cambodia. Communities and nature win with eco-branded rice Srey Bunang has witnessed a lot of change in her community over the years. An energetic 68-year-old with a sly smile, Srey was born and raised in the small rice-farming village of Kea Sway in Siem Pang District, Cambodia. She left her home for Lao in 1970 to escape the forces of the Khmer Rouge political party that eventually brought mass executions and starvation to the country, then returned to her home village in 1980 after the Khmer Rouge were driven out. When Srey was a child, this rural area was heavily forested and brimming with wildlife such as the giant ibis ( Thaumatibis gigantea ), the cow-like kouprey ( Bos sauveli ), Eld’s deer ( Rucervus eldii) —even tigers ( Panthera tigris ). The plants and animals of the forest were sustainable a source of nutrition, energy, medicine and income for local people. But the toll of military conflict and the Khmer Rouge years, followed by new roads, more people and nearby industrial agriculture, have left the forest and wildlife more and […]

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