Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - USAID, government unveil green project

USAID, government unveil green project

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Environment and USAID announced the implementation of a five-year, $21-million Prey Lang Forest Green Project on Wednesday. Supplied

USAID, government unveil green project

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Environment on Wednesday announced the implementation of a five-year, $21-million Prey Lang Forest Green Project in a bid to strengthen the management of the forest.

Meanwhile, the Prey Lang community representatives urged the government and donors to use the budget right on the target.

Spanning 431,683ha across four provinces including Kampong Thom, Stung Treng, Kratie and Preah Vihear, Prey Lang was designated a protected wildlife sanctuary in May 2016.

It is home to at least 27 endangered animal and 20 endangered plant species but has suffered badly from rampant illegal logging.

During a workshop entitled Management of Prey Lang Forest Landscape and Sustainable and Effective surroundings, more than 100 participants including the government’s development partners discussed effective implementation of the law, demarcation and designation of more wildlife sanctuaries, and management of protected areas as well as sustainable financing.

Enhancing forest preservation

The Ministry of Environment’s secretary of state Sao Sopheap said the project was initiated by USAID with a budget of some $21 million.

Supported by the ministry, the project aims to conserve biodiversity and the ecological system of the forest, which is one of Southeast Asia’s last remaining lowland evergreen woodlands.

The project implementation started on August 7 last year and runs through August 6, 2023. It also aims to create sustainable and equal economic opportunities for local communities.

“The project will help enhance and expand the capacities and effectiveness of our Prey Lang forest preservation."

“We are pleased to collaborate with our development partners, but even without this USAID project, the government, the [environment] ministry and provincial authorities – which are stakeholders – would still [use all means] to preserve it,” he said.

USAID’s Mission Director Veena Reddy said the agency has supported Cambodia’s natural resources management programmes since 2016, having in the process mitigated nearly 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions through the preservation of forest and biodiversity.

The figure, she said, amounted to emissions from 2.5 million cars travelling on the road each year.

Producing jobs

USAID has also cooperated with 15,000 forest community members to create occupations for them and provide the means to jointly manage the forest.

“We have held several consultative forums along with the Prey Lang landscape community and the surrounding areas and other forest areas of Cambodia."

“The consultation expressed the wishes and needs of the local community to create sustainable occupations in order to strengthen their capacities to a key eco-system protection,” she said.

Srey Thei, a representative of the Prey Lang Community Network in Preah Vihear province, welcomed the project but called for more transparency in its implementation.

Some local authorities, he claimed, had previously misused the allocated funds while some colluded with traders to carry out illegal logging instead of enforcing the law.

“I’ve noticed that the Ministry of Environment has not enforced the law firmly enough in our areas. In Preah Vihear, authorities only seized small wood and if they ever arrested any illegal logger, they only impose small fines. That enable offenders to repeat their offences,” he said.


  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped