Community monitoring of forest resources in Cambodia
IFRO project coordinator:
The flora of Cambodia rank as the least known yet most intact among the unique and diverse floras of tropical Asia. The country harbor valuable and endemic plant communities that has never been collected and described in a systematic manner. In recent years, the growing demand for land has attracted large-scale concessionaires to these habitats for agro-businesses. Foreign companies are presently deforesting natural landscapes in Cambodia at an alarming pace often to the detriment of local communities depending on nearby forests resources and ecological services.
The project will undertake the first systematic botanical explorations of some of Cambodia’s distinctive forest habitats by engaging residential communities in participatory surveys of species compositions and vegetation structure. The resulting data will be used to compare the floristic constitution of forest fragments, assess biogeographic relationships between distant sites, and evaluate livelihood importance of plant resources. The baseline data will be used to identify and assess those sites with the highest conservation and livelihood values.
The project is a continuation of ecological and livelihood surveys undertaken in Cambodia for the past 7 years in collaboration with The Forestry Administration Cambodia (FA), The University of Texas – Pan American (UTPA), the Herbarium at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Conservation International (CI), and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). In 2014, collaboration with Danmission and The Prey Long Community Network (PLCN) will begin. All project partners have an abiding interest in floristic exploration and the conservation of Cambodia’s plant resources for the benefit of local people.
January 2014 - December 2017
Sources of financing:
Danida, WWF Denmark, Conservation International, Blue Moon Fund.