The Ministry of Environment has announced that Cambodia has earned $11.6 million from the sale of carbon credits from REDD+, a financing mechanism to support forests in developing countries with access to funds to protect forest resources and improve the livelihoods of local communities and contribute to the fight against climate change.
A press release from the Cambodia Government Spokesperson Unit said the country has 46.86 percent forest cover, equivalent to about 8.5 million hectares, and about 7.3 million hectares, equivalent to about 41 percent of Cambodia as a protected area.
“According to REDD+ projects cover, it is an area of about 1.27 million hectares, and Cambodia received about $11.6 million from the sale of carbon credits,” the press release, dated August 31, said.
According to the same release, Cambodia currently does not have large-scale forestry crimes, only small-scale crimes that have already been suppressed by authorities.
In the last five years, the Ministry of Environment has cracked down on more than 8,000 cases per year by ranger officers, of which more than 800 cases have been sent to court. In addition, people have been educated and fined, the release said.
Heng Kimhong, Program Manager of Cambodian Youth Network (CYN), said that he is optimistic about the sale of carbon credits and urged the government to pay more attention to and protect natural resources.
Kimhong said that forestry crimes, including in economic concessions, still occur and the country has lost about 14 percent of its cover in recent years.
“Natural resources not only provide favorable conditions for the daily life of the people but also provide by-products and resources,” Kimhong told Kiripost.
He added that sale from carbon credits is part of the national income and will contribute to the development of local communities.
“It is important for the government to continue promoting better practices for the protection of Cambodia's natural resources, especially forest cover, which is an inexhaustible resource for humans, animals, and the environment,” he said.