The Environment Ministry, partner organisations and a Japanese company expect that implementation of a $1.5 million forest conservation project for three years will help prevent forest crime, biodiversity loss and improve the livelihoods of community members in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.
The statement was made yesterday during a signing ceremony for the project between the Environment Ministry, Conservation International, and Mitsui & Co Ltd.
Environment Ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap said the first three years of the project would focus on protecting and conserving forest, carbon absorption, and community livelihood improvement in Prey Lang in Stung Treng province on more than 120,000 hectares.
“This project, when we say that it helps protect and preserve, it means that we protect or prevent the deforestation or degradation of biodiversity in Prey Lang,” he said.
Seng Bunra, country director of Conservation International in Cambodia, said the three stakeholders were implementing the forest conservation project in Prey Lang because the area was affected by forest crimes and land grabbing.
The project will help protect the Prey Lang forest directly through patrols by a working team with 20 members and will help community livelihoods in the area, Mr Bunra added.
“We will start the first phase from 2018 to 2020, and then we will continue the second and third phases. For this phase, we protect Prey Lang and the Japanese company buys carbon from Cambodia,” he said.
After the first phase of the project is implemented in Stung Treng province, the three parties will continue implementing the second and third phases in other provinces of Prey Lang.
The Prey Lang forest, which the government set as a wildlife sanctuary in May 2016, covers more than 431,683 hectares in four provinces, including Kompong Thom, Kratie, Stung Treng and Preah Vihear.
Kheng Ko, a Prey Lang Community Network member in Stung Treng province, expressed support for the project, expecting that forest protection in Prey Lang would improve.