The Tonle Sap Great Lake is important to the economy of Cambodia, and essential to the livelihoods of the people (often the very poor) who depend on its resources. These resources are now under threat from non-sustainable exploitation, increasing human population and external influences in the wider Mekong System. The Tonle Sap Sustainable Livelihoods Project (TSSLP) is part of a carefully sequenced suite of strategic support from ADB aimed at the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity in the Tonle SapBasin. The purpose of the Project Participation Technical Assistance (PPTA) is to prepare a project that will contribute to this goal whilst improving livelihoods and reducing poverty amongst the communities living in the flooded area of five Provinces lying between Highways 5 and 6. The PPTA is in two phases. The output of Phase 1 (4 months) will be a report outlining a range of possible entry points for TSSLP that will be developed in detail under Phase 2 of the PPTA (5 months).
Phase 1 adopted a highly participatory approach and focused heavily on a modified, “purposive” PRA (PPRA). The innovative use of SWOT and Appreciative Inquiry techniques within a Sustainable Livelihoods framework, enabled the team to better understand the needs and priorities of stakeholders in the specific context of their own strengths and the TSSLP purpose. Literature reviews and key stakeholder interviews at all levels from village to central line agency, have contributed to the PPRA outcomes and have informed the preliminary conclusions reached in phase 1.
Phase 2 looked at a number of different entry point options for the TSSLP highlighted by the Livelihoods Analysis conducted in Phase 1. The overall philosophy was that the Phase 2 of the TSSLP would lead to the development of a supportive and sustainable social and institutional framework in which the TSSLP and the other current and pipeline projects could work effectively. The capacity building project would contribute to a foundation for the capacity building, social development and environmental awareness elements of the TSSLP, for the TSEMP and the Tonle Sap Lowland Stabilization Project (TLSP).