In the coming month we will focus on how people in the communities in and around Prey Lang are affected by climate change. We do this, as we are approaching the climate summit COP23 in Bonn, Germany, taking place in November 2017.
The following interview with Mr. Song Svay concerns the local effects of climate change in his community in Sambor district, Kratie Province.
Where do you see climate changes in your local community?
I see changes all over Kratie Province. Especially the weather is changing rapidly these years. Sometimes we have so much rain, and other times we are experiencing massive droughts. The rain doesn’t come as regularly as is used to. Adding to that, we experience periods with heavy winds – winds that destroys our houses as well as our trees.
What are your concerns for the future in terms of the climate changes you see?
My big concern regarding the future relates to our ability to produce our crops. The changes in weather with irregular flood and drought can destroy our rice fields. In this way, our income and living standards will be affected by the changing weather. I am highly concerned for the well-being of my family and friends – we will all be affected by the climate change the coming years.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope that everybody, not only the government, but all of us, together can fight for our nature and to stop cutting down trees. I hope that the government alongside NGO’s will be able to raise awareness about the problem and I hope they will focus on us, the local people. I also hope that they will spread our word, not only on a national level, but also international, so that we can all fight for a better nature in the future.
In your opinion – what does it take to change this? And who is responsible for changing it?
Again, I would like to point out, that this something, that all of us is responsible for. Not only a few individuals, but all of us. We need to start to fight together for a better future for our nature. We end up destroying our forest and cause heavy rainfalls, droughts and storms, simply because the local people do not understand, how the nature works and how the climate change is related to what happens to our forests. Everybody is ultimately responsible – but, I also think that the leaders of this country have a responsibility to spark this change.