As Cambodia has the highest rate of deforestation among developing countries. Experts say that the country needs a more sustainable development plan to protect its ecosystem.
Mickael Netzer, senior spatial expert from Winrock International, told Khmer Times that Cambodia needs to weigh the balance between economic benefits now and future costs, which include impacts on water and air quality. “If Cambodia has too much development in the wrong place, you will face pollution, that cost society real money, real health, real jobs, and real impacts,” Mr. Netzer said.
The USAID Supporting Forests and Biodiversity (SFB) project is preparing a web-based tool that uses extensive spatial data in a model that quantifies the value of ecosystem services, he said.
Curtis Hundley, chief of party of the USAID SFB Project, said in a press release that “the Mekong Basin Initiative is being prepared with the government… especially with the Forest Administration to assist government officers… in making informed decisions about economic development opportunities.” The Internet tool is being develped to help inform government officials about how to make resource-management decisions and assist in promoting sustainable development.