The Seima Protection Forest is one of two official pilot demonstration sites under Cambodia's National REDD Readiness process. WCS staff working at the site recently presented a case study at an international conference at the Land Tenure Centre within the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the USA.
Delegates were discussing global trends in land tenure and the possible risks that REDD might bring for forest-dwelling communities if control over forests by central authorities was increased. The Seima case study explored these issues and concluded that here REDD is expected to improve the recognition of local communities rights to use the forest and own their traditional lands, as shown by past work at the site, the project design and the framework provided by the national REDD process.
Local communities have also been found supportive in Seima, especially because they perceive a high and rising external threat to their resources. Indeed, the paper concluded that improved tenure could be a central outcome of REDD in some settings, and this needs to be considered alongside discussions about financial benefit-sharing. The paper is available on this website, and the full conference proceedings, including a paper from the Oddar Meanchey pilot site, at www.rmportal.net/landtenureforestsworkshop