Their stories need to be shared so that people around the world can understand the drastic impacts climate change is having on local communities, right now.
Hi there, I am Scarlett Green. I am one of the Community Voice creators representing the Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project in Cambodia. I was born and brought up in India and completed my degree at Mumbai University. Since a young age, I have been passionate about animals and nature.
My passion and love for the forest and animals came from my father. Growing up, we used to go trekking in the forests, and many times I saw my father trying to save animals we saw that were trapped or hurt. He used to carry a medical kit with him wherever we went, and if any animal was injured, he would stop and try to help them. My father would always tell me:
“forests and animals are very important to us humans and it is our duty to protect them”
Even today, walking in the forest gives me peace and joy and brings back my wonderful childhood memories.
I have been living in Cambodia for five years now and have been working with Wildlife Alliance for around a year. I have been working as a Corporate Outreach Associate, connecting to various businesses around the globe. My job is to help them understand our conservation project and their corporate social responsibilities to support communities, wildlife and forests. I also use my journalism skills to write meaningful stories related to our Phom Tamao sanctuary, our project activities, and the stories of villagers in rural communities living across the Southern Cardamom Landscape. Interviewing people and getting to know their stories and who they are is something I feel very privileged to do.
I personally believe it is very important to raise the voices of local forest communities. These people living in nature are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change first hand, which is driven by deforestation. They know better than anyone the value of protecting the forest. As a result of deforestation, they are suffering from drought, floods and other natural disasters that affect their standard of living. It’s important for the world to know about the difficulties they face on a daily basis.
I recently visited a village named Chamsla, and met with several local people to hear their stories. My heart was crushed when they shared how the dry season has impacted their communities. One villager shared, “During the dry season all our water sources dry up completely and we have no clean water for drinking. Our children are dehydrated and faint due to the excessive heat and we have to rush them to the medical center. Most of our village women have to walk 7-8 kms on foot, to find some water, and we use it for a few days for our household chores, many times not having a shower in order to save enough water for everyone.”
These stories need to be shared so that people around the world can understand the drastic impacts climate change is having on local communities, right now.
A beautiful moment I witnessed in the field recently was meeting a family who used to get their water from a small pond near their home. The mother and her three young children used to fill up buckets of dirty water from the pond for bathing and drinking. Many animals and cattle bathe themselves in that same water source. A water well has recently been installed near the family’s home and I was there the day she first opened the water tap. With clean water gushing out, her children ran over to fill buckets to shower. The mother was overwhelmed with joy and told me “Now my children will drink clean water. I am so thankful to the REDD+ project because now I am confident my children will be healthier.”
I am proud to be a part of this project and feel like I have found my purpose in life.