The Ministry of Environment signed a framework agreement yesterday with Conservation International and the Mitsui Banking Corporation to launch the planning phase of a new REDD+ project for the Prey Lang forest, officials confirmed.
The planning phase will last three years, with project implementation set to begin in 2020, said ministry spokesman Sao Sopheap. “The goal is to work out a sustainable financing mechanism. We want to get carbon credits and reduce deforestation. This is for strengthening the protection of the remaining forest.”
REDD+ is a UN-backed initiative that aims to incentivise governments and companies to protect forestland. Payments are given for cutting planet-warming carbon emissions caused by deforestation. But some experts call into question the efficacy of the program’s approach.
“REDD+ puts a huge amount of trust in both expertise and the market. Yet it has proven itself incapable of tackling the inevitable political problems which arise when dealing with managing forests in Cambodia,” said researcher Timothy Fewer. He added that large inputs had seen ‘‘only very modest outcomes”.