Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UNDP launches charcoal digital platform




UNDP launches charcoal digital platform

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched a “Sustainable Charcoal Digital Platform” on Monday to help the government address environmental issues from rampant coal production. Hean Rangsey

UNDP launches charcoal digital platform

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched a “Sustainable Charcoal Digital Platform” on Monday to help the government address environmental issues from rampant coal production.

The platform will also support charcoal-producing communities as demand for its use has increasingly grown in the Kingdom.

Nearly 100 people including government officials, civil society organisations and community members attended the launch.

The UNDP said the demand for fuelwood, including firewood and charcoal, had increasingly grown in Cambodia, wherein “about 0.8 million tonnes of firewood is used in the garment and brick-making industry and 1.8 million tonnes for household cooking”.

Another 3.5 million tonnes, it said, is used for cooking in households and restaurants.

UNDP resident representative Nick Beresford said at the launch: “The annual consumption of fuelwood has now reached about six million tonnes, equivalent to the annual loss of 71,600ha of deciduous forests.

“This is an alarming concern that needs to be addressed not only for the sake of the sustainability of forests but also the human wellbeing.

“This new digital platform can help promote sustainable production and consumption of fuelwood and promote sustainable community forest management.”

Beresford said the platform is a way to see a regulated production and consumption of charcoal.

“Currently, we use phones to call taxis and use other services.

“If we are owners of restaurants and businesses, we can use the e-commerce platform to purchase charcoal.

“This supports the local economy and promotes forest preservation,” he said.

The director of Cambodia’s Forestry Administration, Keo Omalis, said the project would help the government and local communities with producing sustainable charcoal.

“[The project] encourages other communities to plant trees, instead of cutting them down, to supply their charcoal businesses,” he said.

This, he said, would align with the government’s goal of planting trees on two to five hectares a day.

“Timber will be sustainable because our community forests have been well-managed as planned,” he said.

Ton Sarim, the head of the forest community in Pursat province, said that in the past, the community’s charcoal industry had experienced difficulties due to a lack of available supply of timber in the market.

But he expects that the sustainable charcoal digital platform’s launch would help improve livelihoods.

“We have standards regarding which kinds of timber can be used to produce charcoal. We remove the deformed and rotten ones. If the programme can help the community produce charcoal, and there’s a sufficient supply in the market with acceptable prices, I’ll be very happy,” Sarim said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as