Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In danger

I heard some disturbing news today. CCBEN, the Cambodian Community-Based Eco-tourism Network is in danger of extinction if something isn't done soon to save it. Established in 2002, CCBEN was always a network of local and international organizations, NGOs and private sector companies engaged in promoting and supporting communities who have something to offer the tourism industry. Remote communities in Virachey National Park, Chi Phat, Banteay Chhmar and Yeak Laom amongst many others have benefited from CCBEN"s support, advice and marketing skills in bringing visitors to their tourism locations but if CCBEN can't get enough funds after August it will cease to exist. In recent years CCBEN has spread its wings to engulf a wide range of activities, perhaps too wide according to some, rather than stick to the knitting of simply providing a network for everyone to speak to each other. A members meeting today offered up some suggestions but some tough decisions need to be made, and made soon, if CCBEN is to remain alive and a network that benefits both the communities and the public.



Blogger Nancy Beavan Athfield said...

This is very disturbing news, and we blog readers should certainly get behind support for the CCBEN programme, but may need more information on what the source of the current problem is (I mean, other than no $$$.) Can you direct us, Andy, to sites/materials that explain more about how the funding for the network had been organised in the past? I know that several NGO's in CBET schemes such as in Chi Phat would have contributed business start-up expertise, materials (such as mountain bikes) and the like. What aspect of funding/support is in danger? How can concerned supporters help?

June 8, 2010 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

The problem is that they've appeared to overstretch themselves and in doing so, have fallen between two stools. They've not stuck to the knitting so to speak so the network activities have suffered, and the work from ngo's and the like has dried up. That means there's no membership income available and come August, the available project funds will be used up. In addition, all the staff are coming to the end of their contracts.
There's nothing online about their funding as far as I'm aware.
CCBEN needs to look at itself again, as we were doing yesterday. It needs to decide the future and what CCBEN will be in that future, simply a network relying on membership funds and keeping their members happy, or a more developed entity based on business lines that can offer capacity building, training and so on. Proposals for the shape of CCBEN should be coming out from the management committee in the next week or two.

June 9, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

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