NGOs and businesses cooperate to promote community forest management in Cambodia

During the 3rd quarter of 2019 and the first 6 months of 2020, Birdlife International – Cambodia Program (Birdlife Cambodia) in cooperation with PanNature and Krongbuk Ratanakiri Rubber Company (KRRC) organized a series of events on awareness raising, learning exchange, consultation and capacity building on community forest management for three villages including Chan, Chouy and Kanat in Taveng and Andong Meas districts, Ratanakiri province, Cambodia. These are three villages of ethnic minorities Kreung and Kachok living adjacent to the Phnom Torntang forest which is located inside the rubber plantation area of Krongbuk Ratanakiri Rubber Company.

A discussion on community forest management.

Through a series of learning and internal exchanges among village members, communities expressed their wishes to keep the forest for long-term use and they were able to actively participate in forest protection and management. With the support of local authorities and technical guidance of Birdlife Cambodia, village forest patrolling groups were established and carried out periodic forest patrolling and biodiversity monitoring since January 2020. By far, the forest patrolling groups have detected violations of forest encroachment and reported to the district authorities. They have also recorded the presence of some rare and precious wildlife species in the forest such as lemurs, gaur, porcupine, green peacock, deer, oriental hornbill, monkey.

The patrol team found out the illegal logging case in the Phnom Torntang forest.

These preliminary results created a foundation for the development of a piloting quadrilateral cooperation model among the four parties: Business – Conservation organizations – Local authorities and Communities to support community forest management in areas that Vietnamese enterprises having investment. There is a fact that Vietnamese enterprises having foreign investment, besides facing challenges in their doing business, often have limitations in access to information on local laws, understanding the local customs of ethnic minorities, creating relationships with local organizations. These barriers would affect their business results in the long term.

Communities from 3 villages Chan, Chouy, and Kanat in O’Rey Community Sanctuary in Lumphat

These above-mentioned efforts and results are part of the support that PanNature and Oxfam in Vietnam have provided to Vietnam Rubber Industry Group and its subsidiaries to promote community engagement and fulfill their commitments in the Group’s Strategy on sustainable development and access to sustainable forest management in accordance to international standards.

Phnom Torntang forest is surrounded by Krongbuk Ratanakiri Rubber plantation. It’s covered by an evergreen forest of about 2300 hectares. The forest area located in two districts of Ratanakiri province, Taveng district, and Andong Meas district. There are three villages surround the Phnom Torntang forest, including Chan and Chouy villages in Taveng Leur Commune of Taveng district and Kanat village in Talav commune of Andong Meas district. Villagers often go into the forest to collect non-timber forest products to serve their daily livelihood activities.

 

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