Cardamom Forestry Project
Spreading over 20,000 km2 in Southwestern Cambodia, the Cardamom Mountain Range runs along Thailand’s border. The area is home to the second largest virgin rainforest in Southeast Asia, which is under significant pressure from illegal logging and poaching.
This offsetting project focusses on the South of this region, with the aim of preserving the biodiversity and the habitat for many native species. Fifty of them are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List including the Asian elephant, the Asian brown bear, the Clouded Leopard and the Siamese crocodile.
Twenty-eight local communities depend on this region, which represents 16,319 people of whom only 16% live above the poverty line defined by the Cambodian government.
Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
The project offers job opportunities to local communities in various fields such as eco-tourism and forest management, which is helping to provide decent work and stimulate sustainable development.
SDG 13: Climate action
The forest is a precious carbon sink. Through the avoidance of deforestation the project has a significant and positive impact on climate change, avoiding 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent being emitted per year.
SDG 15: Life on Land
The preservation of 445,339 ha of forest contributes to the restoration of on-land ecosystems. It helps to ensure the sustainable use of resources and good forest management moving forward. In turn this is helping to prevent loss of habitat and biodiversity.
- 445,339 hectares of forest are protected.
- The preservation work undertaken is in association with the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment and assists them in the enforcement of the Protection of Biodiversity law.
- 200 Siamese crocodiles have been identified in the region which represents one of the last inhabited (and most populated) area in the world for this species.
- Efforts have been made to re-introduce the tiger into this virgin forest and noticeable successes were observed in re-introducing the elephant in this area.
- The project works to implement the development of more sustainable agriculture (working with 220 families in 3 villages) and eco-tourism (via a reward programme).
- A Community Fund has been established to support community students in obtaining scholarships and pursuing higher education studies.
- Many local job opportunities have been created, especially in the protection of the region. For example rangers are employed to constantly monitor the area.