Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon yesterday called for faster registration of forestry communities and the issuance of land titles to better manage and protect forests.
He made the call during a visit to the forestry community in Kampong Speu province where he met relevant officials, provincial authorities and villagers.
Mr Sakhon noted that sustainable forest management and development are a priority to support rural livelihoods, reduce poverty and maintain biodiversity, especially when dealing with climate change.
“So the Forestry Administration has to push the registration of more forestry communities in order to manage and protect the forests for future generations,” he said. “At the same time, they also have to properly organise forestry community land titles to avoid illegal forest land encroachments and occupation.”
Mr Sakhon also advised local forestry departments, authorities and communities to cooperate on managing, protecting, conserving and developing forestry communities throughout the country.
He said they should provide training on new agricultural techniques, offer new jobs and conduct feasibility studies on establishing ecotourism areas.
Keo Omaliss, the ministry’s chief of forestry administration, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Chheang Tola, Kampong Speu provincial Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries department director, yesterday said the province has 50 forestry communities, of which 34, covering 13,745 hectares of land, have already registered with the ministry.
“Most of the forestry community people depend on agriculture and collecting forest products from various species of trees which can benefit their livelihoods,” he said.
He added that the department will continue efforts to help forestry communities as well as provide agricultural training to improve the livelihoods of the people and maintain sustainable forest development and conservation.