The Cambodian activists risking their freedom for the environment

Mother Nature is a group made up of young activists attempting to protect Cambodia's environment from widespread destruction. But the group has increasingly been targeted, with some even jailed for their activism.

Thon Ratha and Long Kunthea are passionate, young environmental activists for Mother Nature. They also both spent more than a year in jail in appalling conditions for daring to take on their government.

Ratha – now one of the group’s best-known activists, was a student working at a supermarket to make ends meet when in 2014 he attended a workshop at his university in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. It would change his life forever.

The event was led by Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, the Spanish co-founder of the Mother Nature environmental group. Gonzalez-Davidson, who is fluent in Cambodia’s native Khmer, spoke passionately about a planned hydropower dam in the Cardamom Mountains in the west of the country, and the destruction it would inflict on the local environment.

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