Published on January 24, 2008
Cambodia: Money from trees Teenagers Dahn and Nyin are from a village where families make a living by tapping resin from the trees. The local industry is eco-friendly and sustainable – and they are supported by CAFOD partners to improve their environment and their income
Tree tapper Nu-Ganon and his eldest daughter are preparing to tap one of their trees. Tree tapping skills are passed down the generations, and children learn how to collect resin and earn a living from the trees.
This tree resin tapper uses an axe to make a sloping hole in the tree trunk. The resin trickles into the hole ready to be collected later on. The process does not damage the tree at all.
Once a hole has been made in the tree trunk, it is carefully set alight for a short time. This stimulates the flow of the resin so that a good quantity can be collected.
Here is Nu-Ganon outside the village resin shop. The tree tappers collect the resin, and bring it here to be sold. Before the shop was built, the tappers had to sell the resin at a lower price to anyone who would buy it. Now the shop regulates the trade and helps them improve their income. The resin is traditionally used to seal boats and make them waterproof. It is also used in making paint and varnish
Nu-Ganon, his wife and their four children
A family from the village outside their traditional Cambodian home which is built on stilts. The raised living area means wild animals and snakes are kept out, that damage can be avoided if the area is prone to flooding. There’s also a sheltered space for storage and relaxing underneath.
Local teenagers Nyin Dayt (17) and her brother Danh Ban (15) are from a tree tapping family (see film clip of Dan on Big Deal website) They like their village but think it’s too quiet – “I want to see cars, lots of people looking good and lots of electricity lights” says Nyin. “There are so few people here. I want to go where the people are,” says Danh.
Here’s a group of young Cambodian Buddhist monks. Buddhism is the main religion of Cambodia. Boys and teenagers often spend some time living as monks, and for many this is their only chance to go to school. Traditionally monks dress in simple orange robes.
A colourful street scene in the village. ‘Balloon toys’ are being sold from the extravagant display on this street vendor’s bike.
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