Samros Koh Han prospers with women in the leadership | WWF
Samros Koh Han prospers with women in the leadership

Posted on 25 May 2020

In the Koh Snaeng commune, O Svay district, the Stung Treng province, where the Somros Koh Han Community-based Ecotourism (CBET) is located, is inhabited by a total population 2,749 people, 1,297 of which are women. Somros Koh Han CBET lies on a unique biodiversity-rich landscape in the middle of the Mekong River’s Ramsar site.
In the Koh Snaeng commune, O Svay district, the Stung Treng province, where the Somros Koh Han Community-based Ecotourism (CBET) is located, is inhabited by a total population 2,749 people, 1,297 of which are women. Somros Koh Han CBET lies on a unique biodiversity-rich landscape in the middle of the Mekong River’s Ramsar site.
 
Up to 2016, Samros Koh Han was left idle until when it was revived with the support of NTFP-EP under PaFF programme. NTFP-EP helped facilitate the development of the Samros Koh Han CBET management committee so that the CBET could benefit its community members. Eleven CBET committee members were elected to sustainably manage the CBET operation.
 
Now, tourists visiting Somros Koh Han can enjoy eco-friendly activities such as  boat trips to flooded forests, bird watches of endangered species, fishing and village tours, kayaking, mountain trekking, historical monument visits, beach camping, sunset watching, overnight stays at the community homestay and food tasting of local cuisine.
 
A 50 year-old mother of three kids, Mrs. Bun Samphan, the Chief of the CBET committee, supervised key tasks in the CBET operation. She informs and coordinates with local authorities about guest visits, also hosting tours while working with CBET members. She ensures accurate records of the tours and facilitates regular monthly meetings with committee members and community members, later joining commune council meetings to update them about the progress of the CBET.
 
Community members who joined the CBET group increased from 27 people in 2017 to 43 people in 2019. In 2017, the income from providing the CBET services was USD1,879, rising to USD3,688 in 2018 but falling short to USD3,394 in 2019.
 
“I am happy with what I have done. My husband is a huge part of supporting me to do CBET tasks. He helps me both in daily family and business work,” said Mrs. Samphan. Mrs. Samphan hoped that the CBET would gradually improve through the commitment of communities and capacity building support from government counterparts, NGOs and other partners.
 
“We, as a committee, do it from our heart. In the future, we plan to attract more tourists by creating more potential tourism sites in our community forests, providing services such as forest trekking.  For the long term vision, I wish to see my CBET attract more tourists, community members earn more income, and natural resources become protected,” added Mrs. Samphan.

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Mrs. Samphan, presenting about her CBET to visitors.
© NTFP-EP
The view of Koh Han CBET
© NTFP-EP