Officials To Hold Conference On Plan To Boost Forest Cover

The government’s Forestry Ad­ministration is scheduled to hold a re­gional public consultation in Pur­sat province Thursday on a new draft national framework for protecting Cambodia’s forests, officials said.

The discussion would involve 160 people who work in forestry-re­lated fields from Phnom Penh as well as Kandal, Kompong Speu, Kom­pong Chhnang, Pursat, Bat­tambang and Pailin provinces, ac­cording to a For­estry Admin­istra­tion statement.

Forestry Administration Di­r­ect­or-General Ty Sokhun said by telephone Monday that population growth has put pressure on Cam­bodia’s forest cover, but that the government still hopes to increase overall for­est cover from the 2006 amount of 10.8 million to 11 million hectares by 2015.

Ty Sokhun added that one of the key elements of a new national for­estry framework would be to preserve forestland as a means to sell car­bon credits to more industrialized nations.

Forests act as carbon wells, drain­ing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Companies can purchase carbon credits on the international market to offset excess carbon dioxide that they produce.

Ty Sokhun said however, that with regard to Cambodia getting involved with carbon credits trading, “the process is complicated and in the long term.”

Kim Chantha, a coordinator for the Forestry Administration in Pur­sat province, said Tuesday that NGOs, community forestry workers, monks and local authorities were invited to Thursday’s meeting to comment on how to protect the forests.

However, Pursat’s coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, Ngeth Theavy, and a community forestry leader, Kuch Veng, said Tuesday that they were not invited to join.   “If they take the national workplan to discuss with two to three people, it will not be transparent and effective,” Kuch Veng said.

 

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