Phnom Penh (August 13, 2021) – USAID mark ed the successful completion of the Keo Seima Conservation Project (KSCP) today with an online workshop that celebrated its achievements in forest conservation and community support.
Speaking at the closing workshop, Laura Cizmo, Acting Office Director for Sustainable Economic Growth Office of USAID Cambodia, applauded the successful collaboration between USAID, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), communities in and around Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS), Ministry of Environment (MoE), local authorities, NGOs and CSOs, and other development partners to make the project possible.
“Through this project, USAID contributed to the avoidance of more than 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions,” Cizmo said. “That achievement has helped Cambodia meet its national greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.”
His Excellency Sao Sopheap, Secretary of State for MoE, said: “The funding support from USAID has enabled KSCP to achieve the significant milestone of securing sustainable financing for KSWS from carbon credit sales. This will allow an expansion of activities and enable more visionary long-term planning. The sales of carbon credits have ensured the site is sustainably financed for the next 5 years - the first time a protected area in Cambodia is sustainably financed.”
“Successful carbon credit sales have created significant financial resources for conservation at KSWS. This presents a unique opportunity to expand activities in KSWS, which include scaling up actions to address the direct and indirect drivers of deforestation, and to improve the livelihoods of local communities,” said H.E Sopheap who presided over the closing workshop.
Ken Sereyrotha, Country Program Director for WCS Cambodia, said, “The KSCP directly supported a large number of important activities, and has played a vital role at a key moment to ensure the longer term sustainability of the wider KSWS program. We look forward to continuing to work closely with local communities, the Ministry of Environment, and other partners to provide benefits to the people, forests, and wildlife of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.”
The KSCP was a 3-year project (August 2018-August 2021) implemented by WCS. The project aimed to improve biodiversity conservation and ecosystem health, sustainable and equitable economic opportunities, community livelihoods, and natural capital reinvestment, and to strengthen inclusive landscape governance in KSWS in the Eastern Plains, Cambodia.
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