THIRTEEN young executives from 23 countries are due to arrive in Phnom Penh next month, hoping to attract investment in community forestation projects by an environmental NGO.
Executives will formulate a business plan for Eco Biz Private Ltd, a Cambodia-based subsidiary of Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarites (GERES), which is looking at carbon-offset schemes, green charcoal and a charcoal by-product - Pyroligneous acid, commonly known as wood vinegar, that can be sold as a natural pesticide.
The scheme is part of the Global Young Leaders Program, an initiative of Hong Kong think tank Global Investment for Tomorrow (GIFT).
Companies such as Prudential, Meinhardt and Sonepar use the program to "broaden the skill sets of future corporate leaders through applying their business knowledge to social causes which benefit developing nations", Anita Yang, a GIFT consultant, said Wednesday.
GERES works in Cambodia to promote emissions-reducing technologies that benefit local communities. The trick for executives on the program will be to make the Kingdom's forestry products commercially viable.
GERES is working with communities to create renewable hardwood forests as a source for "green charcoal", which could also be used as carbon sinks for global carbon-offset schemes. "Carbon credit schemes are definitely an option," Charlotte Nivollet, deputy director of GERES, said Wednesday.
Phnom Penh alone consumes 90,000 tonnes of charcoal per year.