Prey Lang Community Network

Newsletter October 2017 
This newsletter present to you the latest news about PLCN's efforts to save the Prey Lang forest. Here we share updates on PLCN's patrols and other activities, recent national developments and new scientific research within the field. 
Cutting Down Rainforests Increases Child Death

Photo: PLCN 

The loss of forests increases child health issues worldwide, new study shows. Researchers at the National University of Singapore has shown that deforestation is associated with a higher risk of diarrhea, respiratory infections and fever among children. Diseases that in worst case can cause child deaths.

The researchers surveyed about 35,500 households in roughly 1,700 communities all over Cambodia investigating the connection between child health and deforestation. The research found, that a 10 percent decrease in forest density is associated with a 14 percent increase in child diseases among children younger than five. One out of every 29 children in the survey, did not survive their fifth birthday. 

Among other things, the study showed that cutting down trees prevents the forest from producing enough quality foods, such as fruits, mushrooms, fish and game meat, foods that are high in nutrition and therefore essential for the children’s immune systems. The loss of forest density also increases erosion of soil, which pollutes the streams, that provide the children and their families with drinking water.

These findings align with reports from families in Prey Lang, that are challenged when sickness hits: ”Deforestation is affecting our health significantly. Both children and adults get sick more often now. And many times, we do not have the money to go to the doctor,” said Hoeun Sopheap, member of the PLCN steering committee.

Satellite Images Show the Dramatic Effects of Deforestation in Prey Lang

Photo: Google Earth Engine

Prey Lang suffered from a total loss of more than 15.000 hectares of trees – the equivalent of roughly 28.000 football fields – between 2000 and 2014. Every year, an average of 1070 hectares trees was lost according to the data calculated by using Google’s Earth Engine. See the disturbing satellite images below and see the development from 2000-2016 here.

New Sustainable Technology Helps Locals Fight Illegal Logging

Photo: Rainforest Connection

Every year, illegal logging produce more greenhouse gas, than all planes, ships, trains, cars and trucks combined. Experts agree that stopping illegal logging is the fastest and cheapest way to stop climate change. A cheap and sustainable solution that can minimize illegal logging in rainforests may now have been discovered. Rainforest Connection, the first platform of its kind, produces real-time data on deforestation activities in tropical rainforests.

The technology used to provide real-time data from the rainforests is built from recycled smartphones. The smartphones are equipped with solar panels which ensures that the phones do not run out of power. The smartphones are then installed in in tree tops within the forests, where they constantly scan for the sounds of illegal logging. Each phone covers an area of 3.14km2. The moment the noise of illegal logging is picked up by the smartphones, an alert is sent to local partners by phone network, who can then intervene and minimize the illegal logging on the spot. So far, Rainforest Connection has installed smartphones in seven major rainforests all over the world.

The full potential of the technology is still uncertain, but with strong on-the-ground partnerships with local communities worldwide, this new invention will contribute significantly to the protection of our global rainforests.

Try out the technology yourself and experience 360° degree live video streaming from the rainforests. Download the Rainforest Connection app in Google play or App store.

Healing Plants of Prey Lang

Photo: PLCN


Boost your immune system, sooth your toothache and heal your wounds.These are just some of the healing effects of the medicinal plant Kraol growing in Prey Lang. The plant’s many diverse purposes makes it an important home remedy for the people living in Prey Lang.

One of the great properties of Kraol is, that it boosts the immune system and stimulates appetite. This is often needed for women after giving birth. The women drink a tea that they make from boiling the bark of Kraol. This tea can also cure your stomachache or diarrhea.

The plant is also very beneficial if you have a toothache. To sooth the pain, the people in Prey Lang boil the bark with salt and then use the mixture as a mouthwash.

But it is not only the bark of the plant you can use as medicine. The fruit as well has great beneficial effects. By dissolving the fruit in rice wine and mixing it with extracts from the medicinal plant Terminalia chebula, you can create a mixture that can cure burned skin. You can also make a cream from the flesh of the fruit that you can apply to your skin, if you have skin rashes.

Lastly, people in Prey Lang also chew the young leaves of the plant and apply the paste on their skin to get rid of black varicose veins. The Kraol plant is just one of the many medicinal plants that have great value to the people living in Prey Lang. But as the forest is being cut down, the medicinal plants, along with many other rare plant species, disappear as well.

 © Prey Lang Community Network

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Prey Lang Community Network · 81a street 456 · Sangkat Toul Tompoung I · Phnum Penh 13253 · Cambodia

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