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Why sustainable rattan?

Rattan handicraft.© MILY Goodman/WWF CambodiaA ‘clean and green’ rattan industry is at the very heart of the Rattan Association of Cambodia’s way of growing the sector. This approach responds not only to buyers’ growing demands for rattan products that are responsibly crafted, but also to the imperative to lessen the environmental impact of the industry in Cambodia.

What problems affect the rattan industry?

  • Unsustainable harvest: Over-exploitation of rattan leads to forest degradation
  • Wastage: Up to 55% of harvest can be wasted along the supply chain
  • Pollution: Toxic substances causing air, water and soil pollution and health issues
  • Unreliable supply
  • Non-registered rattan traders can undercut legitimate traders

The benefits of cleaner production

In collaboration with partners, the Rattan Association of Cambodia is promoting cleaner production (CP) techniques to shift the rattan industry towards increased responsibility. According to the United Nations Environment Program, CP is the continuous application of a preventive environmental strategy applied to processes, products, and services in order to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment.

Companies that implement CP can see a trickle-down effect that greatly improves their operations and their reputation further down the line. Moreover, CP allows companies to minimize pollution while reducing negative impacts on workers and communities. These techniques are relevant to all industrial companies, whether they are large or small.

CP is achieved by optimal management, a more efficient use of materials and energy; avoiding leaks, spillage and waste in general; installing efficient production equipment or redesigning to bring more added-value products to the market.