The European Union (EU) and WWF officially launch a 2.8 million EUR project to conserve natural resources in Cambodia
The EU is funding this project, which is to be implemented by a consortium of non-governmental organizations long operating in Cambodia, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), ADG and My Village Organization (MVI), in order to specifically ensure the active contribution of members of forest dependent communities in Mondulkiri Province, organized into Community Protected Areas (CPA).
The launching workshop aims at developing common understanding of expected overall objectives and outcomes to various stakeholders including project beneficiaries at provincial and national level and the role of project implementers. The workshop encourages stakeholder participation in all stages of the project. It will open the floor to discuss and gather inputs on resolutions or mechanism, share related challenges at target intervention areas, and provide recommendations on improving the approaches on project management, implementation, and monitoring to better achieve desired outcomes.
The project seeks to ensure that marginalized forest communities affected by threats such as increasing pressure from external economic interests to the natural resources which they depend upon are able to legally enforce the protection of their forest. It will specifically support the empowerment of forest-dependent communities in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary (PPWS) and Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), which jointly cover 40% of Mondulkiri Province.
These “Community Protected Areas are like effective living fences to protect our forests and biodiversity” says Seng Teak, WWF-Cambodia Country Director. “Engaging and empowering these communities to sustainably manage the forest resources, at the same time, increasing their well-being is the way forwards for natural resources conservation. We would like to see target Community Protected Areas in Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary and Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary are capacitated and empowered to exercise their rights to conserve natural resources through livelihood development, sustainable harvesting and law enforcement to build resilience for ecosystem services.” He also added that as a key implementing partner, WWF welcomes the support of the EU on this vital issue.
“We are delighted to financially support this project. It contributes to the efforts of the Royal Government on protected areas management and sustainable development in Mondulkiri. To make the project succeed, we encourage strong commitment and responsive actions from decision makers, civil society and as well as communities themselves so that the project can unfold its full benefits for the local population, forests and wildlife.” says the Ambassador of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr George Edgar.
“Community Protected Areas play a crucial role in environmental protection and sustainable resource use, and it is important that those people have strong capacity to implement their work. We hope that this model of community-led resource management can be replicated in other place of the country. It could potentially benefit over 6 million people dependent on forest, making a real contribution to the implementation of the Royal Government's policy of Protected Area Management”, he added.
The beneficiaries of the project are 2,000 households located in 34 villages inside two adjacent national Protected Areas, Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary (PPWS) in Mondulkiri Province. Those two Wildlife Sanctuaries provide agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP)-based subsistence livelihoods to over 30,000 people including 8,000 indigenous people. The majority of these communities have been living in the region for generations, sustaining themselves through the forest and being directly responsible for the conservation of these forest resources, preserving biodiversity for future generations, educating and encouraging others to participate in natural resources conservation and sustainably using these resources for income generation.
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For more information:
Mr. Un Chakrey, Communication Manager of WWF-Cambodia
Ms Pok Poun, Press and Information Assistant at the EU Delegation,
Email: Pok.POUN@eeas.europa.eu, Tel (+855)-(0)23216996