On 7 March 2022, the AFoCO Secretariat and Forestry Administration of Cambodia signed an MoU for the implementation of the Project titled: “Site Restoration and Sustainable Management of Community Forest Using Multiple Use Tree Species and Agroforestry (AFoCO/027/2022). The MoU Signing Ceremony was held at the AFoCO Secretariat, and the Forestry Administration of Cambodia attended via an online platform.
The goal of the project is to restore the forest resources and increase income for the community through the sustainable management of community forests in Kampong Seila District, Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia. The three (3) main objectives are:
- to ensure the community forest is well managed by the local community, capable of protecting the forest, producing seedlings, and implementing forest restoration;
- to rehabilitate the community forest by using multiple species with high economic value and sustainably managed to benefit the local communities; and
- to disseminate the project experiences and lessons in order to ensure the beneficial effects on other CFs and to sustain the activities after project completion.
A message of welcome and a brief update on the latest news between the AFoCO Secretariat and Cambodia were exchanged. Mr. Ricardo Calderon, the Executive Director of AFoCO, began the signing ceremony with congratulatory remarks. Given the growing number of projects in Cambodia other than the one mentioned above, Mr. Calderon called attention to Cambodia’s crucial role as an implementing country for forest fire management and enterprise development under AKCF, NTFP, ASEAN-ROK Garden, and AFoCO-UNEP SAFE program. He also invited AFoCO and Cambodia to continue their cooperation and effort. H.E. Dr. Keo Omaliss, the Director General of the Forestry Administration of Cambodia, expressed excitement about the project, hoping that it would encourage communities to restore, protect, and maintain local forests and improve forest productivity in terms of timber and non-timber forest products.
With the hope that COVID-19 situation will improve soon, the signing ceremony adjourned in hope that Cambodia will be able to visit Seoul and the Secretariat in person in time for the 15th World Forestry Congress in Seoul in May.
Submitted by Han YoungJu, Assistant Program Officer