The Ministry of Environment has given two NGOs the go-ahead to implement their proposed management plans for five protected community forest areas in Battambang and Pursat provinces, projected to cover 1,064 families and 2,761 hectares.
Chhneang Kirivuth, a community forestry coordinator with NGO RECOFTC-Cambodia, described the protected areas as part of a “sustainable forests management project funded by [the UN Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility]”, established in 1992 to address environmental issues. He said plans for a further six such areas are awaiting approval.
“We submitted management plans for 11 community protected areas. But for now, we have only received approval for five,” Kirivuth said, blaming the hold up on administrative delays and land conflicts.
Environment Ministry director of community protected areas Khin Meng Kheang said the ministry has established provisions for 130 such areas, though some communities had yet to submit their management plans.
“And for the case of the 11 communities, we need to check each plan one by one,” he said.