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At  a national workshop to validate the final working draft of Cambodia's National REDD+ Strategy, Minister of Environment H.E. Dr. Say Samal acknowledged the contributions from government and non-government stakeholders in its development. 

“The strategy comes at the right time and is presented in the right context; and thus, it would not be a challenge to get it endorsed by the Prime Minister,” said the Minister during his opening remarks. He also reminded participants of the outcomes of the first National Forum on Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources, chaired by the Prime Minister, adding that the National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) represents one of the important means to achieve those objectives.

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  Photo Credit: The REDD+ National Programme, Cambodia

During the workshop, which was organized by the Cambodia National REDD+ Taskforce Secretariat, and held in Phnom Penh on 30 August 2016, the draft National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) was acknowledged by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment, and all key stakeholders as a key strategy to support the government in achieving effective and sustainable forest management. The draft NRS reached a final national consultation on 30 August 2016 before it was submitted to the Royal Government for endorsement. The Minister of Environment emphasized that "It is not difficult to have the draft National REDD+ Strategy endorsed by the government as it has been developed at the right time, and aligned with the commitment of the Prime Minister in natural resource conservation."

The National Strategy identifies three inter-connected strategic objectives and twenty strategies. The first objective focuses on improving the effectiveness of utilization, management and monitoring of forest resources. The second objective aims at implementation of activities that contribute to sustainable forest management. The third objective centers on building the capacities and promoting stakeholder participation in the implementation of the National Strategy.

The NRS will contribute to the national and global climate change mitigation through improved forest lands management and sustainable biodiversity conservation in Cambodia, according to H.E. Dr. Chea Sam Ang, Chair of the National REDD+ Taskforce and Director General of the General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection of the Ministry of Environment.He also emphasized that more than 1,000 stakeholders ranging from local communities and indigenous peoples to representatives of the national government institutions and international development partners were consulted on the working drafts of the national strategy.

Various stakeholder groups were consulted during the formulation process, including the four Technical Teams, Consultation Group, Gender Group and the Civil Society Organizations’ REDD+ Network, according to Mr. Chhun Delux, Chief of Office of Forest Carbon Credits and Climate Change of the Forestry Administration. Comments and suggestions from various stakeholders were carefully considered, incorporated in the working drafts and documented in the background document of the NRS, prepared by Dr. Nguon Pheakkdey, lead consultant to prepare the national strategy.

At the workshop, the Minister of Environment also offered the floor to representatives of local communities, indigenous people, Gender Group, civil society organizations and academic institutions to provide their reflections on the processes and the content of the National Strategy. In terms of process, representatives expressed their gratitude for the opportunities that were provided to them over the past two years to provide inputs on the various working drafts of the strategy. In terms of the content, representatives appreciated the fact that their comments and inputs were incorporated.

The Minister concluded the workshop by stating that for the NRS to deliver transformational change, it will require a considerable commitment to the public interest, open-mindedness to cross-cutting issues such as gender, and most importantly awareness and responsiveness on the part of involved stakeholders, to encourage and participate in Cambodia’s shift towards more sustainable development by promoting coherence and the development of integrated inter-sectoral strategic plans and policies associated with the utilization and management of forests and natural resources.

Contributors: Dr. Pheakkdey Nguon and Mr. Delux Chhun

Learn more about the UN-REDD Programme in Cambodia here.


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