Climate change considered as flooding hits Cambodia

The wet season had come and gone with almost no rain.  Despite the best efforts of the farmers from Tralach commune, in Takeo province’s Traing district, widespread crop failures two years ago brought the community to the economic, and dietary, brink.

Rice paddies were parched beyond salvaging, said Oxfam spokesperson Brian Lund in a recent interview, adding that the dried mud was nearly too hot to stand on.

“Usually [the farmers] harvest the rice barefoot, but that year, for the first time, they had to wear shoes,” he said.

This week, farmers in Kratie province are facing the opposite problem. Read more of this post

ADB helps $4 million to boost biomass use in Greater Mekong Subregion

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to help the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) scale up the use of biomass waste in the agriculture sector to meet its growing need for clean energy and food security for poor rural households, the media release from ADB said on Monday.

The ADB Board of Directors has approved a regional technical assistance project that will be funded by a $4 million grant from the Nordic Development Fund along with counterpart financing of $600,000 from the governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam. Read more of this post

Despite some efforts, forests continue to decrease

Cambodia’s woodlands are seeing continued deforestation, despite a plan by the government to curb illegal logging, environmental groups say.

Authorities say they have a plan to protect the forest, but non-governmental groups say the problem persists, including through an increase in land concessions, and massive illegal logging by the military.

Cambodia has an official strategy to protect the forests over the next 18 years, including land management practices and tighter governmental controls over still exiting forests. Experts say as little as 30 percent of the country’s forest cover remains, while logging continues to be a problem. Read more of this post

Cambodian economy involved in the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Cambodia’s environment minister said his country’s green growth plan is making fine progress in its implementation thanks to the help of Korea and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Minister Mok Mareth said activities with GGGI “strengthened environmental cooperation while pursuing sustainable economic growth, not only in Cambodia but also on a regional and a global scale to result in green growth through the exchange of ideas and experiences.” Read more of this post

Fallout from deforestation

In a 2010 report to the international Convention on Biological Diversity, Cambodia’s Ministry of the Environment presented a portrait of national biodiversity to make any taxonomist drool: 123 mammal species, 88 reptile species, 545 bird species, and more than 2,000 species of vascular plants. Further study has the potential to significantly increase these numbers.  

But as the impressive extent of Cambodian biodiversity slowly comes to light, it is also coming under increasing threat.   

Over the past decade, land concessions and luxury timber harvesting have reduced primary forest cover by 13,000 hectares, or 3.42 percent each year in Cambodia, according to a report released early this month by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Tropical Timber Organisation.  Read more of this post

Land concession inside a protected forest granted to company

An economic land concession spanning 1,400 hectares has been granted inside Kampong Speu’s protected Phnom Oral forest to an unspecified company by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

A sub-decree signed by the premier on May 24 and received by The Post on Tuesday reclassifies the land, which lies within the Phnom Oral Wildlife Sanctuary in Oral district’s Trapaing Chor commune and Thpong district’s Omlaing commune, for agro-industrial development. Read more of this post

Cambodia, UNDP and Global Environment Facility join hands in new Forest Conservation Project

Cambodia’s Forestry Administration, UNDP and Global Environment Facility on Monday jointly launched a new project worth over US$3.8 million to help preserve forests and biodiversity in four provinces: Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang.  Read more of this post

Forest conservation program in the Cardamom region

The Forestry Administration yesterday launched a new US$3.8 million project to conserve forests in four provinces in the Cardamom region through sustainable community forestry. Read more of this post