OUR STORY

Rooted in Conservation

The IBIS Rice Story

Rediscovering a lost species

IBIS Rice was founded by the Wildlife Conservation Society with a mission to save the critically endangered giant ibis, Cambodia’s national bird. Due to habitat loss, deforestation and illegal hunting, the giant ibis was believed to be extinct for almost 50 years until a camera trap captured a photo of one during a survey of Cambodia’s forests and wetlands in the year 2000.

What had become an almost mythical bird was actually nesting right among people, in a remote rural community of Tmat Boey. This sparked a number of conservation programs in the area to help restore the populations of some of the world’s rarest species.

 

IBIS Rice Story - Giant Ibis

Camera trap photo of a Giant Ibis in 2000 – the first recording in 50 years

© Wildlife Conservation Society

IBIS Rice Story - Northern Plains Ecosystem

Preserving a vulnerable ecosystem

The Northern Plains in Cambodia is a unique landscape of forest and wetland that once covered much of Indochina, and is one of the most spectacular and important biodiversity areas of Southeast Asia. It is home to the last remaining population of giant ibis which number less than 200 adults, as well as over 260 species of birds and large mammals such as the Asiatic elephant and wild cattle like the banteng and guar.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list, there are 74 species within the Northern Plains that are at threat of extinction.

The Northern Plains today is an intricate patchwork of community livelihoods, subsistence farming, cultural sites and conservation areas.  It is a delicate balance of people and wild places, at risk from small-scale hunting and land clearance as well as large-scale commercial pressure such as mineral exploitation.

 

Empowering rural communities

With most local communities making a living from farming and non-timber forest collection, the pressure on wildlife and the forest is high. Recognising the economic vulnerability of farming communities and their role in the future of the forests, the Wildlife Conservation Society team looked for a way to empower farmers to protect wildlife, whilst lifting them out of poverty. The IBIS Rice Wildlife-Friendly business model was born…

IBIS Rice Story - Farming Communities

The IBIS Rice Story

Rediscovering a lost species

IBIS Rice was founded by the Wildlife Conservation Society with a mission to save the critically endangered giant ibis, Cambodia’s national bird. Due to habitat loss, deforestation and illegal hunting, the giant ibis was believed to be extinct for almost 50 years until a camera trap captured a photo of one during a survey of Cambodia’s forests and wetlands in the year 2000.

What had become an almost mythical bird was actually nesting right among people, in a remote rural community of Tmat Boey. This sparked a number of conservation programs in the area to help restore the populations of some of the world’s rarest species.

 

IBIS Rice Story - Giant Ibis

Camera trap photo of a Giant Ibis in 2000 – the first recording in 50 years © Wildlife Conservation Society

Preserving a vulnerable ecosystem

The Northern Plains in Cambodia is a unique landscape of forest and wetland that once covered much of Indochina, and is one of the most spectacular and important biodiversity areas of Southeast Asia. It is home to the last remaining population of giant ibis which number less than 200 adults, as well as over 260 species of birds and large mammals such as the Asiatic elephant and wild cattle like the banteng and guar.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list, there are 74 species within the Northern Plains that are at threat of extinction.

The Northern Plains today is an intricate patchwork of community livelihoods, subsistence farming, cultural sites and conservation areas.  It is a delicate balance of people and wild places, at risk from small-scale hunting and land clearance as well as large-scale commercial pressure such as mineral exploitation.

 

IBIS Rice Story - Northern Plains Ecosystem

Empowering rural communities

With most local communities making a living from farming and non-timber forest collection, the pressure on wildlife and the forest is high. Recognising the economic vulnerability of farming communities and their role in the future of the forests, the Wildlife Conservation Society team looked for a way to empower farmers to protect wildlife, whilst lifting them out of poverty. The IBIS Rice Wildlife-Friendly business model was born…

Our Wildlife-Friendly Business Model

Discover how our sustainable business model combines organic farming, zero deforestation, and wildlife conservation while benefitting forests and forest famers.

IBIS Rice Story - Business Model

Our Wildlife-Friendly Business Model

Discover how our sustainable business model combines organic farming, zero deforestation, and wildlife conservation while benefitting forests and forest famers.