Back-to-back online Project Inception Meeting and 1st Project Steering Committee Meeting for AFoCO-Cambodia project (AFoCO/027/2022)

June 15, 2022 – The Project Inception Meeting (PIM) and the 1st Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting of the “Site Restoration and Sustainable Management of Community Forest Using Multiple Use Tree Species and Agroforestry” (AFoCO/027/2022) project was convened virtually. The project aims to restore forest resources and increase incomes for local communities through the sustainable management of community forests in Kampong Seila District, Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia.

The PIM was attended by representatives of the AFoCO Secretariat, the National Focal Point of Cambodia, and the representatives from the relevant ministry, departments, and project stakeholders, including the Deputy Director General of the Forestry Administration, Director of Department of Forest and Community Forestry, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Royal University of Agriculture, and the Deputy Director of RECOFTC Cambodia.

(Left) Location of the project site (Nakta Thmor Prong Community Forest) in Cambodia ; (Right) Location of the village (Thmei village) managing the community forest
Mr. Hang Suntra, National Focal Point and Deputy Director General of the Forestry Administration, Cambodia

Mr. Hang Suntra, National Focal Point and Deputy Director General of the Forestry Administration, co-chaired the PIM with the Secretariat and opened the meeting with his sincere greetings to and appreciation for the support of AFoCO. The program of the PIM was as follows: 

  1. Introduction of the AFoCO Project Management by the Secretariat
  2. Presentation on the Overall Work and Budget Plan by Cambodia
  3. Presentation on the Development of Project Implementation Plan Matrix by Cambodia
Mr. Pak Sngoun Pisey, Chief of Forest Carbon Credit and Climate Change Office, Forestry Administration, Cambodia

The PIM was a success, which marked the official launching of the project and brought all stakeholders together to discuss the potential benefits and annual work and budget plan of the project and implement it on the ground.

On the same day, the 1st PSC meeting was held mainly for the adoption of the Rules of Procedures of the PSC and the Work and Budget Plan for the year 2022.

As noted at the inception meeting, the project will focus on three main objectives with corresponding sets of activities: 

  1. Ensure the community forest is well managed by the local community, capable of protecting the forest, producing seedlings, and implementing forest restoration; 
  2. Rehabilitate the community forest by using multiple species with high economic value and sustainably managed to benefit the local communities; and
  3. Disseminate the project experiences and lessons in order to ensure the beneficial effects on other CFs and to sustain the activities after project completion.

In this regard, the project will be implemented with a focus on building the capacities of local communities and the local Forestry Administration staff through relevant training, preparing a 10-year forest management/restoration plan, establishing tree nursery facilities, and producing knowledge materials to share the lessons learned from the project. 

The 1st PSC was adjourned with words of wisdom by Mr. Hang Suntra, who highlighted that the owners of the project are not the project managers but the people living in the community with the project and all relevant stakeholder groups. 

(L to R) Mr. Choi Sungho, Program Officer, Implementation and Monitoring Team; Mr. Orlando Panganiban, Director, Cooperation and Project Division; and Ms. Han YoungJu, Assistant Program Officer, Operations and Resources Management Team of the AFoCO Secretariat

Submitted by HAN YoungJu, Assistant Program Officer

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