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Ministry reports million-dollar carbon credit sale

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Forest in the Cardamom mountains. MoE

The Environment Ministry reported yesterday the government received $2.1 million by selling carbon credits to global conglomerates last year.

Merriam-Webster defines a carbon credit as a tradable credit granted to a country, company, etc., for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases by one metric ton below a specified quota.

The Kingdom sold its first carbon credits in 2016 to an American company.

“[In November], Cambodia sold 500,000 tonnes of carbon credits to Gucci,” Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said yesterday. “It’s worth $2.1 million.”

“The money will be used to guard protected areas and develop local communities,” Mr Pheaktra said, adding major global companies should buy carbon credits from Cambodia to help conserve the Kingdom’s natural resources.

State media Agence Kampuchea Presse on Friday said Environment Minister Say Samal held a meeting about carbon credits with conservation officials on the foot of Cardamom mountains in Koh Kong province.

It quoted Mr Samal as saying any revenue from the sale of carbon credits have been used to guard three protected areas.

“Cambodia has sold carbon credits to protect the Cardamom Mountain National Park and the Tatai and Keo Seyma Wildlife Sanctuaries,” AKP said, quoting Mr Samal. “The sale was made under a voluntary framework.”

Mr Samal reportedly said the government is working to preserve and develop protected areas to achieve a balanced ecological system, enhance the environment and reduce climate change.

According to the ministry’s Facebook page, Mr Samal said forests cover 50 percent of the Kingdom – the highest rate in Southeast Asia.

“We are taking one step further in managing and preserving our natural resources for generations to come and have the ability to think more about improving the lives of local people,” the ministry quoted Mr Samal as saying.

“[The sale of carbon credits] is beneficial to people and the environment, especially in improving the livelihoods of local communities,” said Mithona Phouthorng, Koh Kong Provincial Governor.

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