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July 2016 – Update on MIPAD

We have a preview of the MIPAD 2015 Annual Report and are pleased to report that as at this date the MIPAD Federation consists of 15 Self-Help Groups (SHGs), or participating communities – 4 formed originally from the UNESCO/ILO project;  7 established through the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation (KCF) project, and a further 8 through USAID/Winrock Foundation (4 new groups and 4 combined with KCF).

A further 30 “father and mother” groups have been formed under the Health Equity project, funded by CIAI across the 5 districts of Mondulkiri province. Among the 30 groups, 14 are within the existing federated groups from 2014 (except Puham and Busra), with 16 new groups/villages.

The MIPAD core mission remains the same. In furtherance, the following projects are proceeding with a new one in the pipeline.

  • Mondulkiri Resource and Documentation Centre (MRDC) (Henreich Boll Foundation and with partners World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Globalteers): preservation and production of documents and resources related to the traditional knowledge and the culture of Mondulkiri’s Indigenous Peoples: raise awareness and interest in indigenous culture, and reviving/promoting indigenous culture as living culture. In 2015, five new Bunong volunteers joined the team to help produce 37 stories and features.

  • Sustainable Livelihoods and Natural Resources Management (Winrock/USAID): traditional handicrafts, traditional music and dance, eco-tourism, medicinal plants, agriculture, and a bamboo shoot production enterprise in 15 community/village groups, co-ordinated through their “Community Livelihoods and Eco-tourism Co-ordinating Committee”.

  • Strengthening Capacity of Ethnic Minority Community Civil Democratic Organizations in Mundulkiri for Improving their Social and Economic Status (SCEMO) (WWF): imparting skills, knowledge, and confidence-building to 5 indigenous community-based organizations to take part in development, engage with local government, and to advocate.

  • Health Equity Project (CIAI): Maternal/Child Health education activities to reduce mortalities and morbidities in so far 19 villages by fostering trust between indigenous communities and official health providers while respecting cultural traditions.  Innovative methods are being tried such as the creation of the 30 “Father and Mother” Groups. The picture above is from a practical session in nourishing and nutritional food for children.

  • Indigenous People Communities’ Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Mondulkiri (IP-CCA) is our new project in the pipeline.

Quck access links to other MRDC websites:


- Facebook:

- Youtube:


As well as portraying activities of MIPAD and MRDC, this site serves as the basis of advocating for the establishment of a National Centre for Indigenous People in Cambodia.  In this sense the contents of this site and the process of developing MRDC are an important historical record. After consulting with other indigenous people's organisations, this site may also host guest contributions and more links to see their contributions to promoting the interests of these much at-risk most-deserving of peoples.

The site also records the work of Nomad RSI, the French-based international NGO that founded both MRDC and MIPAD.  In May 2016, it decided to dissolve, its primary mission in Mondukiri having been served.  You can look back to its "Perspectives for 2015" inf the 2014 Annual Report.  (You can read this by following the same Latest News link; scrolling to April and accessing Parts 1 and 2 through the links given.)

Please note that internationally, we now partner with Survival whose mission is very close to that of MIPAD.

Occasionally there is demand for human rights; governance, and development documents that while not written for indigenous people, are relevant to them.

Also by request, I give access here to my paper 2005 paper presented to a Conference in London "New Investment In Developing Countries - Adding The Good Governance Dimension - A Cambodian Experience"
Similalry, as the link to my 1998 Article on Election Neutrality of Security Forces needs some navigating, you can access a copy here.

John Lowrie

The following links may be useful:

Please note that I subscribe to freedom of information over the internet subject to reasonable conditions such as those set by Creative Commons.  I would appreciate it if you would act and honour such undertakings similarly, for knowledge to spread as widely as possible and to those who have most difficulty in accessing it.

The main thing is to recognize and attribute sources of information and images, rather than plagiarizing!

Indigenous People and Corruption
Observers of Mondulkiri and readers of Nomad RSI reports will know that ills from the rest of Cambodia have arrived there, especially following the completion of the main road to Sen Monorom.  Not so many years ago, most indigenous people rarely used cash. Today many still do not have direct cash incomes, but cash is now needed to pay for services and to buy household items to replace their lost non-timber forestry products.  Therefore any unofficial fees they have to pay hits them very hard. In one of my blogs - I reproduced a poster of one of the first NGOs to advocate against corruption.  My colleague Roger Henke has kindly given me a copy of his excellent work on the subject. As this is not generally available online, I have uploaded it here (Parts 1 and 2).  It is worth reading, to pose the question "have things changed much since then?

ARCHIVE Home Page to July 2015

Welcome to the Mondulkiri Resource and Documentation Centre (MRDC) and our website.  We are the Indigenous People of this province in North-east Cambodia.  There are in all just over 32,000 of us.  Most are “Bunong”. Others include Kreng 126; Jaray 119; Krorl 727; Steang 642; Khmon 242; Kouy 13, and Tumpoun 343.  We have lived for generations in this upland area that extends in to Vietnam where we have related groups with similar origins culturally and linguistically.  This is true too for our ancient neighbours in other provinces, especially Rattanakiri also bordering Mondulkiri.

We hope that you enjoy learning about our culture – the MRDC and website are giving us our first chance to record and share information far beyond our borders. For every generation up to now, such things have only been passed on orally.  Most of our grandparents seldom went far from their villages. They only ever heard our own spoken-only languages.  More of our parents learned to read and write Khmer, but as most villages are remote without electricity, ancient traditional lives and livelihoods continued unchanged for generations. Suddenly though all this began changing from the 1950s onwards, gathering pace since the new millennium. Our generation is learning English and Computer Skills. We need to do this for many reasons, as these pages explain. One reason is to be able to record for posterity, using modern technology, the knowledge and wisdom of our elders and ancestors. In today’s modern world, when children may no longer grow up and stay close to their families, there is the danger of this knowledge and wisdom being lost for ever.

You may also access up-to-date information, especially in Khmer, on our sister site here.

If you are interested in finding out more about Nomad RSI with its links to MRDC and MIPAD, or supporting us, please go to:  There is also a link to Paypal.

We thank especially UNESCO and MDG-F for their kind support to open and operate MRDC and this website. Also, we acknowledge Nomad RSI for making it possible.

We wish to draw attention to our own civil society organisation - the first of its kind especially and only for Mondulkiri's Indigenous Peoples "MIPAD" , and our global partnership with "First Peoples Worldwide" who are kindly supporting MIPAD. Their website can be accessed here. This is a great way to find out about indigenous peoples all around the world.

Our Logo and our Banner:

Designed by Ray Walker, the "M" represents the mountainous features of Mondulkiri Province.  The Banner shows traditional grass Bunong houses that are now being replaced by the more permanent Khmer stilted ones.  This is because Bunong People have to live in more settled communities.  The traditional shifting pattern of living and agriculture has had to change as access to land is lost - whichever way Bunong face, it is towards "Khmerisation".


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Next page: Our Origins