September 7, 2010
MONKS COMMUNITY FORESTRY (MCF) in Oddar Meanchey provincial Samraong district has been chosen by the Equator Initiative’s Technical Advisory Committee in the United States as one of 25 outstanding winners of the Equator Prize 2010 because it has a strong demonstration of the ingenuity of community-based work currently being undertaken in the tropics, often against tremendous odds, according to United Nation Development Program’s press release on July 15, 2010.
Venerable Bun Salouth, 39, the director of MCF committe and now staying in Prasat Reach Samraong pagoda, said that the villagers, the committee members and nation-wide people were very surprised and happy to hear that Cambodia won the world’s prize.
“I am absolutely delighted to be one of 25 winners, representing Cambodia as a whole,”, adding that “I could not imagine that I won,” said Bun Saluth.
He said that his committee was established since 2001 and have been helping the forest life alot. Now it has some 60 members including monks and people.
He added that the committee’s duty is to guard in the forests everyday, disseminate the information, educate people and to raise awareness of the forests and wildlife in the forests of the roughly 18000 hectares.
“We are working specifically on protecting the forests and wildlife,” he said.
He said that his committee was awarded due to voluntary work to helping develop the country, devoting to supporting forests resource, loving forests and the successful work in the forests.
MCF will receive a $5,000 USD award and a Certificate of Achievement which will be presented at the Equator Prize Award Ceremony in New York, USA on 20 September, 2010.
He said that he would take the award champion to put in the government place for Cambodia and use money for solve the problem in the forests and support the committee.