Collaborative Management for Watershed and Ecosystem Service


Land degradation is a serious issue in Cambodia posing a direct threat to food and water security since it affects agricultural productivity and water retention capacity of watersheds. It is linked with forest degradation and exacerbated by climate change perpetuating increased vulnerability to climate-related risks in turn. The Royal Government of Cambodia’s (RGC) primary response to land degradation is encapsulated in the 2017-2026 National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation.

Collaborative Management for Watershed and Ecosystem Service Protection and Rehabilitation (CoWES) is designed to reduce pressures on upland watershed areas from competing land uses by demonstrating collaborative management and rehabilitation of agriculture lands and forest areas by promoting sustainable land management and stabilizing watershed catchment functions in a priority degraded area, Upper Prek Thnot watershed in Kampong Speu Province, as identified by the National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation.


The CoWES project aims to achieve the followings in the Upper Prek Thnot:

    [1] On-farm soil conservation and agroforestry practices improved;

    [2] Community forest areas restored and sustainably managed; and

    [3] Watershed management and monitoring capacity improved.


  • Situation and livelihood analysis was conducted and micro-watershed resource assessment was made at target communes. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) was used as a tool to assess the changes and trend of watershed’s functions and natural-resources status. Based on findings, the proposed solutions were made for an intervention. Three separate assessment’s reports for each target commune were developed. A micro-watershed assessment was developed by Department of Agricultural Land Resource Management (DALRM) and a consultancy’s report on micro-watershed was also developed by a national consultant.

  • Commune and community action plans developed in the target communes: the concept of watershed management, improvement of land productivity and natural resource management was comprehensively discussed and agreed in principle to include in annual plan of 3 target communes as well as for development plan.

  • Community livelihood improvement plan (CLIP) developed at three target communes in the purpose to mainstream project actions into commune plans. Based on CLIP, a temporary agreement (project supported activities) between target communes and NGO partner-MB was signed during the annual district integration workshop (DIW).

  • Understanding of local authorities and communities on sustainable land management (SLM), soil water conservation and agroforestry (implemented as plan, this activity is continued for 3 years)”: training courses, exposure visits and on-job trainings provided by MB, DARLM, PDAFF, MAFF and national consultants (GIS, Micro-watershed and agroecosystem) for local authorities and communities during 2018. The farming sites was combined between technical expertise (DARLM, PADAFF) and local knowledges (local authorities and communities) in term of an interactions of forest, water and soil were selected for the agricultural pilot/demonstration.

  • Rapid assessment on current status and trend of community forestry (CF) and community protected areas (CPA) conducted at target districts and communes: they were selected for community’s strengthening. Rapid assessment made at these areas trough both reviewing of legal documents (official registration, ministerial recognition, current status of land tenue) and field observations (zoning and boundary check to these communities).
  • Training on agriculture techniques such as planting vegetables in bags, making compost fertilizer, using a natural pesticide, raising chicken and making livestock feed was provided to 74 (including 25 women) local authorities and model farmers from 3 target communes. After training 60 (including 18 women) participants visited the fields in Takeo province to get more practical experiences.

  • The impact assessment was conducted by the local authority with support from MB field staffs and DARLM staffs to 7 companies in the target communes. The assessment found out the negative and positive impacts on the community people in target areas.

  • Technical meeting and annual reflection workshop was conducted with 64 (including 9 women) participants from relevance stakeholders at national, subnational, local authorities, and community people which facilitated by CoWES team and focal point of MB, PDAFF and DARLM.

  • M & E Training was provided to 54 (including 5 women) participants from communities, local authority and relevance stakeholder departments within Kampong Speu Province. As the result, they understand well on the project concepts and project cycle especially CoWES project.

  • To promote community people to access water for family consumption and their farms, the project supported water tank system connected to the pump tube from the water reservoir to the households. Moreover, the project supports a public pond for farming to improve community income through agroforestry.

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Project start date:

July 2017

Estimated end date:

March 2021

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Cambodia

    Implementing partner:

    Min. of Agri. Forest. & Fish.

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Global Environment Fund Truste
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2021 $13

    2020 $328,001

    2019 $453,699

    2018 $397,198

    2017 $65,280

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