Cambodia is considered a relatively high forest cover country with a high deforestation rate. Deforestation is caused by the rapid pace of development in the country, including large scale agro-industrial development, and a lack of effective implementation of existing laws and policies for forest land and forest resource management.
The principal forest management strategies of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) are the National Forest Programme from 2010 for the permanent forest estate administrated by the Forestry Administration under the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Protected Area law from 2008 for the protected areas managed by the General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection under the Ministry of Environment and the Strategic Planning Framework for Fisheries for the flooded forests and mangroves managed by the Fisheries Administration under the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
A significant part of Cambodia’s greenhouse gases emissions are attributed to deforestation and forest degradation and improved management of forests and the drivers causing deforestation and forest degradation could reduce these emissions and contribute to the global efforts to mitigate climate change. At the same time REDD+ could form a significant new source of finance for implementation of these forest management strategies, in a way the explicit recognizes local livelihood and biodiversity conservation co-benefits. This would help Cambodia achieve its national target of maintaining 60 % forest cover, which is one of the main objectives for mentioned in the RGC’s Rectangular Strategy.
Cambodia developed a national road map for readiness for REDD+ in 2009-2010 and established its first REDD+ pilot project in 2008, submitted a Readiness Plan Proposal to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility in 2009 and also became a partner country of the UN-REDD Programme in 2009 and signed a UN-REDD National Programme in 2011. Cambodia has now three pilot REDD+ projects (Oddar Meanchey, Seima and Kulen Promtep).