Phnom Penh, August 30, 2018 – Domestic and regional demand for forest products such as timber, fuelwood, and non-timber forest products has been rapidly growing. The survival and long-term sustainability of the Cambodia’s forests depends upon whether the reserves for production could continue to meet demand.
Today, there is a critical need to enhance productive capacities of forests in supplying forest products. The formulation of the Production Forest Strategic Plan has the potential to give us a roadmap to address current and future challenges. A total of 110 representatives from relevant ministries to forest sector, development partners, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and research institutions participated in the event.
“Along with the efforts to reach sustainable forest management, Cambodia still faces some challenges with the management of production forest including limited guidelines toward sustainable forest production chain, lack of enabling environment to attract private investment, limited agricultural techniques, and research and data to support production forest sector. This is the main reason the Production Forest Strategy has been formulated,” explained H.E Veng Sokhon, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery in the opening session of the workshop.
The Minister also highlighted that the Production Forest Strategic Plan 2018-2032 (PFSP) will guide the future development and sustainable management of production forests for their contribution to poverty alleviation, livelihoods and economic growth.
The Plan represents the first comprehensive strategic document for production forests in Cambodia. It responds to the need to adjust to the recent institutional reform in the forestry sector and supports changes in the forest governance framework against the rapidly socio-economic transformation and emerging vulnerabilities of natural resources. The Plan has been under development since 2017 by the Forestry Administration with inputs from relevant technical institutions to forest sector.
UNDP played a pivotal role in developing the Strategic Plan based on their comprehensive assessments of existing forest resources, institutional capacities, and governance structures.
“UNDP is proud to have been able to assist the Royal Government of Cambodia in this important work, together with FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry, and Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment through the support from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Phase II,” Mr. Nick Beresford, Country Director of UNDP Cambodia emphasized.
The strategy has proposed four key strategic objectives for further improved performance of production forests:
- Strengthen forest governance framework;
- Ensure sustainable production of wood and non-wood forestry production through reforestation, forest re-habitation, and planted forest management;
- Promote active participation of rural communities; and
- Strengthen institution capacity and inter-institution collaboration.
Acknowledging the vital role of the strategy, H.E Minister called for active participation of all participants in the workshop to carefully check the draft strategy to ensure meeting the Royal Government’s vision in balancing development and sustainable forest management.