May 3, 2024

Yesterday, the BBC broadcast a program as part of its Panorama series called Big Brands’ Green Claims Uncovered

As we expected, the program presents a fundamentally misleading picture of the Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project (SCRP) to fit a predetermined agenda on carbon markets. 

Firstly, the program promotes allegations we have already transparently and thoroughly refuted, because they ignore critical points of fact and local context

Secondly, it misrepresents the potential impact of the Cambodian government’s plan to build a hydropower dam within the SCRP project area. We recognize the Government’s decision to locate the dam in question within the SCRP sits within a broader context of unavoidable trade-offs that all nations face as they chart a sustainable development path. While the dam will indeed cause deforestation, the impact will be fully accounted for in the project’s carbon crediting.  

But the more important fact is this: We have been undeniably, demonstratively effective in halting all kinds of development inside the SCRP that would, by now, have put the area on a path to total destruction.

The BBC’s decision to broadcast allegations without this crucial context completely misrepresents the project and does enormous disservice to our community partners. 

Therefore, we take this opportunity to highlight that:

SCRP has overwhelming support from the communities it serves. During the recent Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, over 98% of community members expressed ongoing support for SCRP.

SCRP channels millions of dollars to local communities. In 2023 alone, SCRP distributed over $2 million to fund communities’ own development goals. More than 10,000 community members have benefited from SCRP’s education initiatives, 680 families have been trained to produce food more sustainably and intensively, and 27,516 people have gained better access to drinking water because of new wells built by SCRP.

Without SCRP, forests and wildlife would disappear. Protecting 442,870 hectares of evergreen forest, SCRP has prevented over 27 million tonnes of CO2 emissions to date. Moreover, SCRP’s conservation efforts have led to the rescue of 3,058 live animals from hunters’ snares, the removal of 175,534 snares, and the confiscation of 5,624 chainsaws, safeguarding the habitat of 62 globally threatened species.