Grant from UNrun fund enables Cambodian village to reap ecotourism benefits

Funds from a global environment grants scheme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enable an indigenous community in one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces to build an ecotourism project at a lake recently returned to them from private ownership.The mostly indigenous ethnic Kuoy residents of Romchek village in northeast Preah Vihear province are to receive a share of almost $20,000 in grant money from the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme, according to a press release issued today by UNDP.They will invest the money in environmentally sensitive visitor sites in the pristine forestland around the Choam Prei lake.The lake, used by the Kuoy as a cattle-grazing site and as a water and food source, was returned to the 213 families of Romchek from private ownership this year after a process that involved the local, provincial and central Government.A plan to develop the 70-acre lake into a site for hosting tourists was approved in June by GEF’s Small Grants Programme.“The site has a lot of potential for the entire village,” said Ly Setha, a project officer for a provincial civil society organization, Ponlok Khmer, that will channel funds from the small grant into eco-tourism projects for the area.“Villagers hope there will be a spill-over from the tourists coming every year that will allow them to earn income by selling local products, and that will help them improve their livelihoods,” said Mr. Setha.The two-year project aims to accommodate tourists to carry out conservation-related research, or to experience the wild animals and plant life around the lake. Activities include production of publicity material, building campsites, and training community members to become tour guides.Ponlok Khmer was already running a programme that employed villagers to repair the lake’s drainage and water level and to improve it as a fish spawning ground. Before January, the lake had been part of a fish-farming enterprise run by the family of a local entrepreneur, who was given permission by a village chief in 1998 to use the area for private business.Villagers accused him of blocking public access to Choam Prei. They collected 86 thumbprints to file a petition through their local government office.The head of Romney commune took up the case in 2008 and raised its profile through a nationwide local government-association. The association, the National League of Commune/Sangkat, receives technical and financial support from UNDP as part of a project for democratic reforms at the local level. 26 August 2010Funds from a global environment grants scheme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enable an indigenous community in one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces to build an ecotourism project at a lake recently returned to them from private ownership. read more

NHS bedblocking rises 42 in a year new figures show

first_imgNHS England has warned the health system is under strain Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary said: “Today’s figures reveal the pressure and strain A&E departments are under across the country. People will be shocked that the A&E target has been missed for sixteen months in a row. It’s simply not good enough.”“This week we have learnt of the intense pressures on our NHS this winter. “Instead of addressing this crisis with a package of urgent support for social care, government ministers suggested downgrading the A&E target – a move which provoked a widespread backlash.”He accused the Government of “shifting the goalposts” instead of tackling a crisis in social care. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:  “As we see A&Es full, people waiting hours on the phone to get a GP appointment or on a trolley in a ward, the buck lies with the Prime Minister and this Conservative government. “Theresa May has lost control of the NHS crisis and needs to get a grip.”Instead of briefing against NHS officials and making physical U-turns in the street, this government should make a U-turn in Parliament and stump up the cash our NHS needs. “Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to make the case that we may need to raise tax to pay for the NHS and social care services patients deserve.”  Cllr Izzi Seccombe, from the Local Government Association said: “Elderly and vulnerable people need to be supported to remain in their homes for as long as possible and receive care in the community, not in a ward. “With social care facing a funding gap of £2.6 billion by 2020, it is vital that the Government properly funds social care if we are to get people out of hospital and safely into the community. Without this, the NHS will continue to suffer.”Earlier, former Tory health secretary Stephen Dorrell hit out at the “unfair” criticism of the boss of NHS England reportedly meted out by Theresa May’s senior aides amid the growing crisis in the health service.NHS chief executive Simon Stevens went against the Prime Minister over the state of NHS funding by telling MPs it is “stretching it” to say it got more money than it asked for.He said an extra £10 billion was being made available to NHS England over the course of six years but overall the health service had “got less” than set out in its five-year plan.The comments contradict those of Mrs May, who has insisted the NHS got all it wanted in the funding settlement. NHS England has warned the health system is under strainCredit:Lynne Cameron/PA Wire It comes as the head of  the NHS became embroiled in a row with the Prime Minister over funding for the health service.Simon Stevens said Theresa May was “stretching it” to say that the NHS had been given more money than it asked for.He also denied her suggestion that the crisis was partly being caused by poor management of hospitals, by saying that hospitals were not “feckless”.No 10 responded angrily – pointing out that Mr Stevens had given a fulsome welcome to a £10bn NHS cash boost when it was awarded and added: “The figures speak for themselves” Bed-blocking has risen more than 40 per cent in a year as hospitals continue to be overwhelmed with people needing care, figures showed on Thursday.New data from November shows a health system under strain as it got ready to enter its busiest time ever over Christmas.It follows warnings from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Nursing that the NHS is now experiencing its worst ever winter crisis.The research for England highlights acute problems with delayed discharges – where patients are medically fit to leave hospital but are stuck in beds due to problems arranging care in the community.It follows calls from the head of the NHS for extra funding for social care.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Hospitals report this affects their ability to quickly admit emergency A&E patients, so the NHS is working closely with local councils and community health services to enable older patients to get the support they need after a hospital stay, back at homeMatthew Swindells, NHS England “Hospitals report this affects their ability to quickly admit emergency A&E patients, so the NHS is working closely with local councils and community health services to enable older patients to get the support they need after a hospital stay, back at home.”The figures also show trolley waits of over four hours after a decision has been made to admit the patient totalled 52,769, the second highest figure on record, and 54 per cent higher than November 2015.Trolley waits of over 12 hours totalled 456 – again, the second highest figure on record.This is 16 times higher than the number for November 2015.The proportion of people seen at A&E within four hours in November was 88.4 per cent, against a 95 per cent target. Last November it was 91.3 per cent. November’s figure of 88.4 per cent is the lowest since March 2016, when it was 87.3 per cent.Some 88 per cent of calls to NHS 111 were answered within 60 seconds – down from 90 per cent in November 2015. This impacts on A&E as hospitals struggle to find beds for incoming patients.Days lost to delayed transfers of care totalled 193,680 in November. This is the third highest number on record, and 26 per cent higher than the figure for November 2015.Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s national director for operations and information, said: “This month’s figures show a 42 per cent annual increase in delays in being able to discharge patients as a result of pressures in social care.last_img read more