Our Engagement for sustainable tourism
At 4 Rivers Floating Lodge our commitment to sustainable tourism is driven by our will to protect the beautiful nature and wildlife around us.
The idea behind 4 Rivers was to create an environmentally friendly yet luxury resort so you could rest and relax while enjoying the ecological miracle that is Cardamoms Rainforest.
Our goal is to have a high and positive impact on people, from our guests and team to the local people around 4 Rivers, while having the lowest impact on the environment, protecting biodiversity, using sustainable materials, recycling resources and managing waste.
At 4 Rivers, we put people first. This is why you will have an unforgettable experience; this is also why we want our team members have a fulfilling job, and aim at working with and for the local people on a number of community projects and involving them in our eco-touristic activities.
You, our Guest
Our guests are our priority and our everyday preoccupation. We want your stay with us to be unique and unforgettable.
In order to share our passion for the region, you are invited to join our guided tours where you can discover the surroundings and learn about local people’s culture.
We created this resort so the beauty of this region can be shared with our guests. Our wish for you is to connect with nature and enjoy the calm and peacefulness of the resort.
Our team members are our most precious asset, as they are the ones who share and brighten up your daily life.
Among the 23 full-time staff working at the resort and in our office in Phnom Penh, 11 are originally from the nearby villages or the island across the resort. Some of them used to practice illegal logging and poaching for a living, and they have now a regular job and stable income. They know a lot about the forest and its species, and share their knowledge with our guests everyday.
We encourage them to be themselves as much as possible, and to create an interpersonal relation with our guests.
We also employ recent graduates from PSE (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant) school in Phnom Penh. It is a NGO that helps children escape from destitution and lead them to decent and skilled jobs. Most of them work with us for a few years to gain experience.
Vy, on the left, was hired as a boat driver in 2010. He taught himself English with the help of his colleagues and our guests. He is now our head tour guide.
“The staff is the most lovable thing I can have, they’re really family more than employees” Adonis,
Assistant Resort Manager
THE LOCAL PEOPLE
We do not want the local people to be just neighbours but involve them in our projects and create interactions between our guests and them. With the local people as our most important partners, we initiated a number of community projects in the Koh Kong region, aiming at both improving people’s quality of life and protecting the fauna au flora of the region.
A few years ago, the Tatai River was overflowed by all the rubbish left by tourists. When we say that, we couldn’t help but do something about it. So we launched two projects to clean the Tatai river and waterfalls. Both are still on-going.
The “Tatai river clean-up”
Once a year, with the help of the community leaders, volunteer boat owners and children of the surrounding schools, we collect the rubbish floating on the Tatai River, and talk about the importance of protecting the environment and reducing waste.
“Tatai waterfall clean-up”
It is a daily action of collecting all the rubbish around the waterfalls, with the help of the Tatai Tourism Community. The funds come from a contribution we give for each guest visiting the place.
All the recent projects are conducted with and towards children, because we believe they are the ones who have the power to change the future.
As an example, with the help of several business operators in the area, we built a water catchment system at the Tatai school. We initiated this because we observed that the drinking water was filled with animal waste and rubbish.
They can now enjoy healthy and uncontaminated drinking water.
We also helped building a library and toilets, providing school supplies and setting electricity connection in other schools around.
The most recent one is “Build the Koh Kong Khnong School” project.
The school, located near 2 hours downstream from 4 Rivers, in Trapeang Roeung district, is composed of
two classrooms, made of wood, in a dilapidated condition with holes on the roof, which makes it extremely difficult for children to stay dry while in the classrooms during the rainy season.
The goal of the project is to raise money to create new and sustainable infrastructure for the school.
The Koh Kong Region is home of an incredible biodiversity that need to be protected and taken care of. The concept of 4 Rivers was built around the idea of not being destructive to the nature that surrounds us and implement actions to protect it.
The Cardamom Mountains is home of 54 endangered animals, such as Indochinese tigers, Asian elephants and sun bears. Environmental experts have identified more than 500 bird species, 64 reptile species and 30 amphibian species.
In order to ensure the protection of the fauna, we often work with Wildlife Alliance, which is an NGO committed to wildlife and forests conservation.
Also, to raise awareness among our guests about protection of both fauna and flora, we organize different tours allowing them to discover the incredible nature and the villages around the resort.
Our daily excursions to see the waterfall or the mangroves will show you the diversity of Koh Kong landscapes. We also invite our guests to observe the fireflies at night.
Our tour guides are always happy to share about their culture and the wildlife of their region.
A SUSTAINABLE BUILDING
When we had the idea of building a floating lodge, we wanted it to be surrounded by the nature, without causing harm to it. In this way, we used sustainable and mostly local materials for the construction, and are trying to be self-sufficient in energy supplies.
As the resort is floating on the water, a floor made of wood would have to be replaced frequently (because of the heat and humidity), so we opted for a composite made of wood and 100% recycled plastic.
Since 2014 we have been using solar panels that provide us energy that is used every night from 10pm until 7am.
With time, our objective is to use 75% of renewable energies.
Numbers of furniture in the rooms are made of water hyacinth plant, an aquatic plant that grows in the rivers. The plan is abundant in the region, and the furniture are locally made with creative designs.
A SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
On the island across the resort, we created a water pumping and treating system. We dig two wells of 5 and 9 meters deep, from which the water is pumped and then filtered through three different reservoirs. The first one contains small stones, the second one sand and the last one carbon. Along with our rain water catchment system, it provides us enough water for showers, taps and toilets.
To clean the waste water, we have our own sewage system of septic tanks. During a few months, bacteria are cleaning the water which can then be released in the river.
Toiletries in the bathroom are formulated from eco-friendly materials.
Guests are invited not to use any other chemical products that would slowdown the process of water cleaning.
As far as possible, we minimize our impact on nature, and especially reduce the quantity of waste we produce.
All our waste is separated, and then collected to be brought to different places according to what can be recycled. Thus, our food waste is gathered by the locals who use it to feed their poultry, and all the plastic is recycled.
We believe that every little steps is important in trying to reduce our waste, and reuse as many items as we can.
For instance we use wine bottles to create glasses and vases in the rooms.
During the tours, we use eco-friendly packaging from our supplier Ecosense Cambodia. The products are made of recycled items, and are entirely biodegradable, unlike plastic and other materials usually used in Cambodia.
We also have a partnership with CleanBodia, a startup providing innovative solutions to help reduce waste in Cambodia. To replace plastic bags, they produce and sell biodegradable bags, made of cassava starch, a root vegetable grown throughout Southeast Asia.