THE Asian Development Bank has approved US$69 million in funding for the protection of community forests in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos over the next decade.
In a statement issued yesterday, the ADB said the project would include the planting of trees on 19,000 hectares of degraded forest land as well as conservation training for local communities. The project will also comprise “small-scale community infrastructure ... for potable water, sanitation, and waste management improvements, as well as upgrades of market access roads”, the statement said.
Sothea Ros, the ADB spokeswoman in Phnom Penh, said the project would begin in April of next year, finishing in 2019, and would include forests in the Cardamom Mountains and Northeastern Cambodia. These locations have been proposed as possible “carbons sinks” under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme, an arrangement under which countries “offset” carbon emissions by paying other countries to conserve their forests.
Officials at the ministries of Environment and Agriculture could not be reached for comment yesterday.