Tropical deforestation is one of the major drivers of carbon emissions and global climate change. Halting this deforestation could potentially contribute over one-third of the total emissions reductions needed by 2030.
Tropical forests also amongst the planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems and support some of the most threatened and charismatic species on earth.
The Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project protects 497,000 hectares of tropical rainforest in South-West Cambodia which is globally significant for wildlife conservation, ecosystem servicing, and community livelihoods. The project uses global best practices of forest protection and community development to safeguard the forest and prevent more than 3,000,000 tons of carbon emissions annually.
Together with our partners at the Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Works Carbon the project will be accredited under Voluntary Carbon (VCS) and Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards. This will ensure the project produces genuine carbon emission reductions and supports local communities whilst protecting the fantastic biodiversity of the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape.
Wildlife Alliance is a global leader in the Direct Protection of Forests and Wildlife.
Wildlife Alliance has invested 14 years in helping to conserve the Cardamom Rainforest and has an unrivaled track record of effective law enforcement and protected area management in the landscape. Our unique approach of structured, supervised, and managed law enforcement, in which we technically mentor and coach government law enforcement staff 24-7 in the field, has created a culture of excellence in enforcement and Zero Tolerance of Corruption.
To strengthen good governance: Wildlife Alliance fulfills the role of watchdog conducting good governance oversight, both with the government departments responsible for law enforcement and the rangers themselves. This is a much needed function, which is often overlooked because of the desire of the international community to empower the local rangers. However, our long experience in wildlife and forest protection, has taught us that many years are needed before countries with low government transparency such as Cambodia are mature enough to be accountable for effective biodiversity protection. Wildlife Alliance builds the capacity of rangers on a daily basis, through on-the-job coaching by Wildlife Alliance officers living and working with the rangers. Our experience has shown that this methodology is very effective not only in ensuring the management of the station (including budget, logistics, equipment maintenance, first aid), but also in monitoring good governance by providing legal support to the Ministry of Environment rangers tasked with giving penalties and prison term to the offenders. Our presence and joint work with the government officers has yielded daily benefits: we verify the law enforcement documents that are written on each offender case (which are written by the Ministry of Environment Judicial Police Officers), we make sure that the legal penalties are not reduced in exchange for bribes, we monitor that the offenders are taken to court and do not escape, we monitor that the seized wildlife are not resold and that parts of seized timber are not stolen
Whilst no communities occur inside the forests protected by the REDD+ Project a total of 28 villages, and approximately 68,000 people of whom 16% live below the Cambodian government poverty line, live in the wider landscape. As part of the project’s Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standard verification we have demonstrated that we have:
Identified all stakeholders and ensured their full and effective participation in the project
- Recognized and respected customary and statutory rights
- Obtained free, prior and informed consent
- Assessed and monitored direct and indirect costs, benefits and risks
- Demonstrated net positive climate, community and biodiversity benefits
Community focused activities which the project will implement, and which were identified during community consultation workshops, will include
- an expansion of our award-winning Community Based Ecotourism projects which have demonstrably improved community incomes and reduced levels of illegal forest clearance.
- land demarcation and land tenure registration across all communities ensuring permanent and legal access to land for all community members.
establishment of a community fund for supporting educational scholarships for local students to continue higher education at the provincial and national capitals
The REDD+ project area supports more than 50 species of IUCN Threatened or Near Threatened birds, mammals, and reptiles.