The Mondulkiri Indigenous People’s Association for Development (MIPAD) is an ethnic minority community based organization (CBO) operating in Mondulkiri, a North-East Cambodia’s province where Bunong is the most numerous ethnic minority. Mondulkiri is the largest and most sparsely populated as well as least developed province of the country.
The area, famous for its rich biodiversity, diverse landscape (forested hills or powerful waterfalls) and unique culture, is facing a rapid development which, in parallel to economic growth, also leads to environmental degradation and the loss of the traditional knowledge of the Bunong.
Since 1997, Nomad Recherche et Soutien International (Nomad RSI- a French NGO) has been working in the domain of international health, encouraging therapeutic diversity and the protection of the environment in Mondulkiri.
In 2010 Nomad RSI set up a local organization called Mondulkiri Indigenous People’s Association for Development (MIPAD). MIPAD operates throughout Mondulkiri in 5 districts (Kao Seima, O Raing, Pichreada, Koh Niek and Sen Monorom). Since MIPAD was developed till the end of 2015, it’s been supported and advised by Nomad RSI. Nomad will not have activities anymore in Mondulkiri province and will stand as the MIPAD advisor. Step by step the remain budget, projects, assets and staff of Nomad RSI have been handed over to MIPAD until Nomad RSI was completely closed down in June 2016.
Today, the MIPAD is implementing 3 projects :
1) Mondulkiri Resource and Documentation Centre (MRDC), in partnership with the Henrich Boll Foundation. The center main function is to collect, gather and classify all available research data and information regarding the environment, culture, history and development of Mondulkiri, and facilitate public access to and use of this knowledge. The MRDC also facilitates coordination and sharing among all the active stakeholders in the province while creating a focal point for them. Finally, MRDC contributes to the development of local cultural enterprise activities.
2) The Equity Project, in partnership with CIAI, which general goal is to contribute to the reduction of Mothers and Children under 5 Mortality rates in Cambodia (CMDG 4 and 5), in rural areas and in provinces where there are significant regional disparities, like in Mondulkiri. While working with communities, MIPAD will also work with and within the public maternal health sector and local authorities to build their capacities to better implement the national policies regarding maternal health.
3) The MIPAD community ecotourism project based in Dak Dam commune.
4) The Indigenous People Communities’ Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Mondulkiri (IP-CCA) project, under financial and technical support for Plan International and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The overall goal of this project is to reduce vulnerability and Improve resiliency of the indigenous people communities and children from climate change in Mondulkiri province.
5) The Bridging Agriculture to Ecology Conservation Among Indigenous People Communities in Mondulkiri Province (Ecoagriculture) project, in partnership with GRET. This project goal is to introduce high value crops such as strawberry via a permarculture system inside the existent community forestry. The indigenous people community will then be able to increase their productivity as well as to promote soil ecology system through systematic organic mulching system for their vegetable beds.
MIPAD is really concerned to include local communities in their programs and in making strategic decisions for the organization. At the end of 2015, the MIPAD Federation consisted of 15 Self-Help Groups (SHGs), or participating communities – formed originally from previous Nomad RSI projects. These 15 Self-Help Groups elect the MIPAD Board of Directors during annual general assembly.
MIPAD employs 11 salaries and is supported by local volunteers.
The organization’s projects are funded and implemented with different partners, such as : Winrock International, Henrich Boll Foundation, WWF, CIAI (Centro Italiano Aiuti all’infanzia), GRET, Plan International, ADB and local authorities.