Human rights defender
Kimsor is an environmental activist from Cambodia, currently employed at the NGO Mother Nature Cambodia. After being obligated to move caused by a national deplacement plan in 2009, she started her activism wanting to empower communities to advocate and fight against land-grabbing and to protect Cambodia’s natural resources. Since 2015, Kimsor has been working with different local communities affected by sand mining in the Koh Hong region, supporting them in the development of strategies to stop this activity. Kimsor is currently working on a women’s network, ensuring activist women to have a voice in the community and connecting them with other women.
Current climate in Cambodia
For over ten years, the Cambodian government has granted permissions to mine mangrove forests to private companies. Companies have been dredging sand since, harming the marine ecosystem and natural protection against the changing climate. The was allowed due to positive effects on the Cambodian economy, because of the the growing export of sand. Even though the export was put a halt to in 2017 thanks to Kimsor’s work, the dredging has been continuing.
Threats and harassment
As a result of her activism, Kimsor has received threats from private companies and state authorities. Besides that, the national authorities have framed her work as anti-government and sabotaging her work by warning the local community against working with her. Her organisation Mother Nature Cambodia was removed from the NGO list.