Caption: Navy Koeung and Kimheak Chhay, WCS Cambodia's Community and REDD+ Manager.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Navy Koeung, a representative from the Bunong community in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, took to the stage this Sunday at the UNFCCC's 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to highlight the tangible benefits of carbon finance in forest conservation. Her participation, facilitated by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and WCS Cambodia, underscored the importance of directing carbon finance towards Indigenous communities for effective and sustainable conservation.
Navy Koeung made history as the first Bunong community speaker to address such a high-level UN conference, bridging the gap between a remote forested village in Mondulkiri province and the ears of global decision-makers. She shared, “I am filled with gratitude. It is a great honor to speak here, from a small village in Cambodia to world leaders.”
Navy’s speech at the event hosted by the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM) and Nature4Climate (N4C) brought attention to the critical role of carbon finance in empowering indigenous communities. “The financial support we receive is vital in standing against the threats to our forests. Our forests are among the densest and healthiest in Cambodia, a testament to the Bunong’s commitment and care,” she stated. This aligns with COP28's focus on accelerating actions to combat climate change and the importance of financial mechanisms like the REDD+ in supporting these efforts.
She added, “We’ve used carbon finance to build our community and protect our environment, blending our traditional lifestyle with innovative ways to protect our forest.” Her insights echoed the sentiments at COP28, where progress in climate finance is vital to a just transition and reducing emissions worldwide.
Including Navy's experience at COP28 underscored the need for collaborative efforts in climate action. “Carbon finance uplifts my community and Indigenous communities worldwide, extending benefits to the entire world,” she remarked, reinforcing the global climate summit's message of unity and ambition in climate commitments.
Watch Navy Koeung's COP28 remarks starting at 6:23:33 here. See photos from behind the scenes here.
Navy is scheduled to speak at another event titled "How can carbon finance create opportunities for Indigenous peoples and local communities?" on December 11th in the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion, co-hosted by ICVCM, N4C, and the Environmental Defense Fund. To register for the event, visit here.
For more information about her involvement in COP28 or to request an interview with her about her experience, please contact Ms. Phalkun Chan at email@example.com.