The Wild KK Project is a social enterprise operated by Cambodian environmental activists fighting to put an end to the systematic destruction of Koh Kong's precious natural resources. Its main aim is to introduce visitors to the raw beauty of natural spots which are under threat of being destroyed by careless 'development' projects, and to show to decision makers within the Cambodian government that it makes more sense to develop these places as hubs for low-impact tourism rather than as mining sites, hydro dams, economic land concessions, or luxury resorts only for the very rich.
We kick-started our project in 2013, when we started taking guests to the awesome Areng Valley, which was in immediate danger of being wiped out by an uneconomic and senseless hydroelectric dam. Much to the dismay of those lobbying for the dam to be built, chiefly the world’s largest hydro-energy company ‘Sinohydro’, and much to the happy surprise of many, the campaign to stop the dam was ultimately successful and the project is now officially cancelled. The campaign was innovative, hugely popular across the country, and sparked what was to many the country’s first grassroots environmental movement. The Valley being visited by many – mostly Cambodians - during those turbulent times, when Chinese engineers and pro-dam government agencies were visiting the Areng Valley, was one of the key factors behind this awesome campaign.
The same highly efficient concept is now being expanded to coastal Koh Kong, home to stunning mangrove forests and small fishing communities living where Koh Kong's wild rivers meet the ocean. These beautiful waterways were for close to ten years dotted with mining sites, where millions of tons of sand were being extracted and then exported – mostly fraudulently – to Singapore, which uses gargantuan amounts of sand from its neighbouring countries to enlarge its country. After over two years of campaigning, which included peaceful protests, judicial repression of activists, and investigations into the smuggling of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of sand, the government halted the extraction in November of 2016. Though localized extraction continues, it is happening at a much smaller scale and only to meet the (tiny) demands for sand of Koh Kong province.
The Wild KK Project was created in order to:
Raise awareness both at home and abroad about the beauty and fragility of the places we are trying to protect;
Provide the communities and those fighting for the protection of the valley with an effective argument in order to lobby the Cambodian government to leave these areas untouched so they can be enjoyed by all visitors and future generations of Cambodians;
Provide skills, experience, and income to local villagers and , so that their standard of living and overall wellbeing can be raised.
Make the local communities, as well as Cambodian guests who visit these areas, proud and thus more inclined to get actively involved in its protection;
Provide an alternative source of income to the activists who are engaged in the protection of these under threat places;
(if you fail to get an answer after a few hours, chances are that our main coordinators are all in the jungles, out of signal. If that is the case, contact us via email and we will get back to you in due course).