After my self-quarantine time, it looks like the second half of my 2020 has been packed with a series of outdoor trips. This time, my destination was to Prey Lang, or Tbong Teuk village (Kampong Thom province), to be exact. Instead of life lessons, the whole experience taught me some hidden facts. If you know about Prey Lang, stop here! If you don’t, let’s go further down this post!
1- Vastitude Means Natural Wealth
By “vastitude”, I refer to the coverage of this largest forest of Cambodia, over four neighboring provinces: Kampong Thom, Kratie, Preah Vihear and Stung Streng. Kampong Thom itself is the largest province of the Kingdom. Both indigenous and Khmer people living around and on this natural habitat, in terms of construction materials, herbal medicine and wild food. Hence, the name “Prey Lang” itself is translated in Kuy language as “Our Forest”.
2- One Forest, One Community
It is a bit exaggerating to cite “one community”, because even villages located 10 kilometers away from Prey Lang still depend on her. Here, I simply meant the forest united those communities into one to protect her. This cause of protection alone compelled me and my SFA team, to organize training for local participants to document their own natural resources. The course was conducted award-winning documentary maker Polen LY. Also, we collaborated with our partner agency Mekhala with USAID Cambodia Green Future, as our funder. Surprisingly, by the end of this camp, we have “appropriated” the importance of such a Mother-Forest.
3- The Mystery of Prey Lang’s Core
Here comes a sensitive part, despite our efforts to foster positive change toward Our Forest. The hard fact is that her core is rumored to go bald. I myself can’t confirm this as the community forests feel already abundant on my scouting trip. If that is the case, I really hope our short eventual documentaries will trigger some short-sighted people about our shared future. Of course, these deal with forest protection itself and conservation of a lake, originating from Prey Lang.
4- Changes Can Happen Anytime
Even if I get curious about that entangling puzzle, I still want to focus on positive action or campaigns. The thing is, if we can’t undo a straining past, we can build a “more constructive” future. Other people may then care about our environment for a name’s sake. In turn, we ourselves know what is true to our heart and Nature. If you ever feel alone in this “fight”, join us at SFO in holistically preserving and even developing our precious resources!
As a whole, as long as Prey Lang maintains her abundance, surrounding lives will keep sustained, if not prosperous. After all, Nature is “intelligent” enough to sense what to keep or remove over time! Therefore, if one speeds up their results with greed, watch what will befall them. Yet, if one conserves and develops her in harmony, rejoice in her by-products to us earthlings.
PS: And here’s your bonus video of my boat ride to the other lakeshore by community forest in T’bong Teuk!
PPS: This post was written as a my personal opinion and should not considered a sponsored content.