Interfaith Initiative for Peace in Cambodia

Interfaith Peacebuilding on Natural Resources Management (IF-NRM) 

Project period: 2013-2018

Goal: The conflicts in the target communities are independently and peacefully transformed through various settings of dispute resolution.

objectives: Inter-faiths (inter-ethnics); inter-faith communities and inter-ethnic communities cooperate and respect their diversities (including identities, cultures and needs) for sustainable Natural Resources Management.

Rational: Forest still, biodiversity keeping supports human societies ecologically, economically, culturally and spiritually. Despite this importance, while the forest in Cambodia became less, ecosystems are being degraded and species and genetic diversity reduced at an alarming rate due to the impact of our growing human population and increasing resource consumption rates. Biological diversity is being eroded at a rate that far exceeds natural processes, recreational and cultural benefits that we currently derived from the earths’ living resources. There are many threats to forest-biodiversity in Cambodia, and combined with increasing population these threats are creating the potential for the increasing loss of biodiversity. As more biodiversity is lost it becomes more difficult to maintain a path towards sustainable development, future prosperity and most importantly it is more difficult to maintain food security and ecosystem  functions that are the basis of real quality of life

In the target communities there were issues on forest land conflict, people low assess information on land law or conflict resolution, and they involved in other issues that happen in their communities. As poverty is the major cases in the target areas, people were hired by the illegal logging to cut the tree and there were increase the number of arrested communities people; after interfaith network conducted workshop raise awareness on forestry law those communities aware and reduced in forest cutting. Law on forest defence were instructed to the communities’ people on article 12-13 state on punishment on forest cutting.

When addressing problems at the communities’ level the communities go direct to the community leader or religious leader or village elder to help them to solve the problem and in some cases is hard that the communities leader could not deal then they move to chief village/commune or district or provincial level. Network who in position of the commune or officer from religion and cult they always help to deal community issue in some part of the minority cases if some big cases that interfered from the top or powerful person they sent case to top. Through the evaluation from communities and religious leader shared their concern they still has limited capacity on basic right, advocacy, right to have land, environment, wildlife, conservation forestry/forest cutting, ecology, and formation of the community to be part of communities conflicts responsibility.

Target: The role of the stakeholder were religious leader from each provinces, local authority, forestry communities/officer, NGOs staff who work relate to the project interfaith and natural resources. Project engage with them to have their support as a whole for communities’ peacebuilding and find out what way network and the stakeholder can cooperate with. The assessment of the stakeholder on their strength were they able to cooperate with our target network and support in any kind of the activities of the network to move forward our activities more effective, The presence of the stakeholder is part of acknowledge and support the network activities for the community sake. Stakeholder engage with the ACT and existing network work able to share any new idea and part of the activities contribution. The weakness as some of the stakeholder did not understand clear about our work they may misunderstand for ACT or network conduct activities as ACT did not do it very often and  have enough time to meet them very often to explain about our work purpose. Need more time to meet and fellowship with them as they are busy with their work.

The existing networks from the target areas such KampongCham, Kampong Chhnang, Kratie, and Kampot will attend the training course and network compiled to activity in the community they are from religious leaders represent from Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim base on Natural resource conservative which involvement from the MoRC officer and local community’s authority in the issue areas. Beside the target network, the stakeholders can be individual person, groups, social actors of any that act at various level and according to the cooperation of the target network discuss; it is benefit to each of their events activities. So far, target network cooperate with stakeholder (their relate person from forestry department/communities or local NGOs) have played an important role in providing education, teaching and community leaders in protecting forests, biodiversity, wildlife or other natural resources of the community. They have the ability to disseminate the knowledge to members and people of their communities about the knowledge she/he gained from training course. Some of them take an important role for resolve issues that arise in the community, and we observed there were able to reduce of community’s conflict and raise their awareness to prevent and protect the conflict in the communities that can be lead to the serious conflict and also reduce in judicial system.

Network members represented from department of religious and cult they have good cooperation with other network members from forest community, religious leader and commune members in their own provinces disseminate about  faiths and natural resources to their community and their works places. Each of them has their own work and they try to integrate what they learn to their implement of daily work. According to the limitation of the budget that ACT able to provide to the communities, was allow them to gather from diver faith and organized any activities to respond to their communities issue. At the evaluation, many time we did with them after each events complete, all of the network were suggest for more activities support for them to respond to their communities more effectively such as: provincial workshop/seminar, training, communities dialogue, networks meetings, communities issues supporting for their intervention, and other communities study for new experiences to them to implement in their own communities.



(IF Project 2006-2012)

ACT-IIPC’s strategic plan is transform our hopes and dreams into concrete plans. First and foremost, making specific plans helps us to get beyond idealistic visions and allows us to focus on exactly what ACT-IIPC needs to accomplish. It also outlines what we can realistically expect to get done, based on available resources.

ACT-IIPC is part of ACT. It was spurred from a national conference entitled “Interfaith Initiative for Peace in Cambodia in March 2005 by the Working Group of Interfaith for Peace (WGIP) was formed. They were from religious communities, Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian; and all of them working in peacebuilding areas. To support this new initiative, ACT has established this project, Interfaith Initiative for peace in Cambodia (IIPC) in 2006.

To see the integrated society where no one is excluded because of their faith, race, culture or origin; a country where everyone is valued and has a sense of accepted for all to live in peace.

Who we are?
ACT-IIPC is a non local profit organizations to promote mutual understanding and respect among divers faiths; to deal with issues which affect the religious community; to share the people’ concern for these problems; to voice these concerns by common consent, the IIPC feel that moral interfaith is needed to empower the disadvantaged in our community.

To contribute towards a culture of peace and the development of human rights in Cambodia by promoting sustainable interfaith understanding and cooperation.
1. Improve the knowledge of key people to motivate targets to apply religious values/principles for conflict transformation.
2. To encourage targets to use their knowledge and skills in order to reinforce practicing religious principle to decrease religious and ethnic discrimination and conflict.
3. To initiate an interfaith network and strengthen by developing the capacity her/his members to transform religious conflict.
4. To build and strengthen existing interfaith networks to prevent and transform religious discrimination and conflict by create a chance to visit interfaith coexistence communities.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other, Remember All Works of Love are Works for Peace.

What have done?

In 2006 was conduct the research for process to deepen our understanding the overall situation in relation to interfaith relation and as well as to document case studies that highlight existing principles of peaceful coexistence of interfaith communities. Among the 13 provinces on the research, there were selected only 5 provinces which is high potential to be working with such as Battambang, Bantey meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, and Kampot province. Then some of the activities were implemented such as the Interfaith Dialogue Trainings, Regional/Provincial Seminars, Follow-up program training, Fact Finding, Supporting Regional Networks, National Network meeting and Exposures Visit, and Cooperation Interfaith Peace building is the basic act and practice of people of diverse religions and spiritualities who are willing to come together to both understand each other and seek to create social change within society. The project emphasizes common humanity over theological differences.

Activities Plan
IIPC’s working with the religious leader, lay leader in communities from Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, and Catholic. Also try to infiltrate to the officer from the department of cult and religion. To achieve the goal and objectives of ACT-IIPC the project focus on the program activities below:
–    Training need assessment
–    Develop and Improve the training manual:
–    Training workshop with the officer from the department of cult and religious and religious leader
–    Regional seminar
–    Joint activities-supporting network
–    Follow up
–    National Conference
–    Annual Network Meeting
–    Collecting Stories of Change

Target Areas:
Battambang, Bantey meanchey, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, and Kampot province.

Target Group:
Lay people (youth, women, and men), Communities leaders, authorizers, and NGOs worker.

How to help?
How to help?
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