WCS Cambodia

Reducing Deforestation and Improving Livelihoods

WCS and government community teams work with local communities across the Seima Forest and Northern Plains landscapes, helping local villages gain formal tenure to their traditional lands so that they can share in the economic benefits of REDD.

The granting of tenure provides local people with an incentive to engage in forest conservation, while the development of a transparent and equitable benefit-sharing mechanism ensures that these local communities are rewarded for reducing levels of deforestation. In the long term, this work will allow each site to contribute to national and regional REDD readiness while also protecting local livelihoods.

Deforestation rates are moderately high in Cambodia, around 0.5%, or 90,000 hectares per year, and increasing rapidly. Forest clearance is primarily driven by speculative land grabbing that is fueled by the lack of legal title to land and property, and the uncontrolled migration of people into rural areas. Population growth and unsustainable farming practices are also significant threats.

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