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For A Brighter Tomorrow

February 28, 2023

Cambodia's Future

A Note to New Zealand

We want to start this piece by sending love to our friends in New Zealand. 

If you haven’t been across the news, New Zealand is facing extreme weather conditions that are taking a huge toll on local communities. With already challenging storms at large, the country has now plummeted into a State of Emergency due to the furious arrival of Cyclone Gabrielle. This is just the third State of Emergency in New Zealand’s history.

Concerns remain high not just for the repercussions of current extremes, but also for the future of floods and fires that New Zealand and many other countries are set to face as part of the reality, no longer a threat, of global warming. 

So before we press forward, we want to offer our support toReCreate,Nichola Te Kiri,Tonic & Cloth, and the rest of our NZ community during these challenging and unprecedented times. 

What Global Warming Means For Us

Extreme weather, rising sea levels, draughts and floods, are all very real concerns that we can no longer avoid. Let’s caveat that for us and likely all of our readers, we’ve been trying to wake up the world to face this for a while. 

As though the alarm bells around the climate crisis weren’t loud enough, Australia’s fires, New Zealand’s flooding, and Europe’s heat waves are consequences that even the highest of powers can no longer avoid. But what does that mean for us? 

The Bigger Picture

It is no secret that countries of the global south are set to face the biggest challenge in light of rising temperatures. Not just because of their under-developed economies and lack of resources, but also because of the geographical placement that heightens the vulnerability of many developing countries. 

With a lack of representation at a decision-making level, developing countries are at further disadvantage by having little influence on policies that will impact them the most. 

The threat of global warming in Cambodia

As stated by Ian Fry, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, in areport to the General Assembly in October 2022: 

 “The overall effect of inadequate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is creating a human rights catastrophe, and the costs of these climate change related disasters are enormous.” 

Bangladesh and Pakistan, two of the world’s biggest garment manufacturing nations, are in the top ten most at risk countries according to the 2019 Global Climate Risk Index for long-term impact. 

What It Means For Cambodia

Here in Cambodia, we’re already feeling the impact of the climate crisis. What was a relatively reliable rainy season that would cast upon us between May and October is becoming less predictable, and in turn, floods and droughts are increasing in frequency and severity. 

Kampot, Cambodia

Set on the river banks at the foot of a mountain and just 20 kilometres from Cambodia’s South coastline,Kampot (the heart of Dorsu) is a low-lying town where rising sea levels could pose a significant threat. An increase in high tides, storms, and beach erosion are very real concerns that heighten the importance of our commitment to sustainability. 

Not only is the impact of rising sea levels a threat to our terrain but also to our community. In fact, the impact that climate change will have on human health, livelihoods, and ecosystems ranks Cambodia as one of the most vulnerable countries.

That’s because more than 80% of Cambodia’s population lives along the Mekong river, directly relying on the water source for their food and livelihoods. For thousands of years, the annual monsoon has been the rhythm for Cambodian’s to farm their crop, and with 13 million people relying onagriculture, fisheries, and forestry for their livelihoods, there’s an urgent need for the country to adapt. 

Salt fields, Kampot, Cambodia

What We’re Doing About It 

We like to think of ourselves as a pioneer in sustainable and ethical fashion, so we’ve never been sheltered from the direct impact of rising sea levels and the reckoning climate crisis. It is, and has always been, our sole priority to protect our people and the planet. 

As you will know, Dorsu’s main objective is to create sustainable garments that have been manufactured under fair circumstances, but we’re also actively involved in other initiatives to promote a sustainable future. 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

The power of education in Cambodia, sustainable fashion

Photo: Banung Ou. Note: CLS students and families of students have given consent for images of the event to be shared. That said, we have done our best to obscure faces and minimise identifiable features in the photos where possible.

As Mr. Mandela so rightly articulated, we believe that the power of education is the main facilitator of change. That’s why we’re always trying to strengthen our partnerships with local and international schools to promote sustainable and ethical practices to the leaders of tomorrow. 

Chumkriel Language School 

Located in a small village on the outskirts of Kampot, Chumkriel Language School holds a special place in our heart. 

Devoted to empowering children from underprivileged backgrounds through their various education programmes, including ICT, sustainable agriculture, and more, we are immensely proud to support CLS. 

We do this not just through monetary donations, but also throughproviding uniforms and building connections between CLS and Dorsu’s community to bridge gaps that can help the school to provide opportunities that nurture our future leaders. 

Chumkriel Language School is committed to a sustainable future and educate their pupils on a range of sustainability issues to encourage better habits and promote a better future.

Donate to Chumkriel Language School today

Education in sustainability, Cambodia

A Brighter Tomorrow

We also work in partnership with a number of other amazing educational institutions and organisations, includingWoodleigh School,Liger Academy,Canadian International School of Phnom Penh,Humiform, and more. We believe that education is the best tool we have to build a better world and we’re proud to work alongside these incredible teams. 

So, let’s end this piece on a brighter note than what it started with and embrace the change happening in Cambodia and across the world to educate young people on how to save our planet and reverse the damage already done. 

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