REDD+ Readiness project gets rolling

Mar 14, 2014

A sign reads “community forest”, a protected forest area in Ouddar Meanchey province. Cambodia has launched the REDD+ Readiness Project aimed at helping curb carbon emission through reduced deforestation and forest degradation. (Photo: UNDP Cambodia)

Phnom Penh – A project aimed at reducing carbon emission in the forestry sector in Cambodia now enters its implementation phase following an inception workshop on Friday, 14 March. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ Readiness Project, known as the FCPF project, is designed to assist the country to be ready to tackle deforestation and forest degradation.

At the workshop, representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia and United Nations Development Programme formally launched the project. Some 100 people from relevant government ministries, UN agencies, development partners, and civil society organizations attended the meeting where the project’s main objectives and activities were discussed.

In her speech at the event, Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren, UN Residence Coordinator, described the project as “highly relevant” to Cambodia, which has experienced deforestation at alarming rates in recent years.

“Not only does deforestation exacerbate climate change effects, it also adversely impacts the livelihoods of local communities and threatens vital biodiversity and ecosystems, which, in Cambodia, are home to globally endangered species,” she said.

Cambodia has been classified as a country with “high forest cover and high deforestation rate.” According forest resource assessment done by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2010, Cambodia had approximately 10.1 million hectares of forest, constituting 57 percent of the total land area. During recent decades, however, the country has experienced high rates of deforestation. Forest loss occurred at a rate of about 1.2 percent per year between 2005 and 2010.

FCPF was established by the World Bank in 2008 to support developing countries to be ready for the REDD+ implementation. UNDP has been selected as a delivery partner for the project in Cambodia. The project will be implemented in partnership with the Forestry Administration under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The project aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • establishment of national REDD+ readiness management arrangements,
  • development of a national REDD+ strategy and implementation framework,
  • building capacity of the subnational levels for REDD+ readiness, and
  • development of a measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) system under REDD+

The project spans over three and a half year from early 2014 until mid-2017. By the end of 2014, a national REDD+ strategy is expected to be formulated, covering the following key issues: the national monitoring system, measures to tackle deforestation, benefit sharing, safeguards, grievance mechanisms and creating national and sub-national capacity.

Ms. Van der Vaeren, the UN Residence Coordinator, said that, with the government playing a leading role, a well-coordinated action and effective engagement from all key stakeholders “is crucial to the successful implementation of the FCPF project.”