Building Capacity and Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management in Cambodia
Purpose of Project
The project aims to combat land degradation by promoting the adoption of a land-use methodology known as sustainable land management (SLM). SLM is an internationally recognized, knowledge-based approach that supports the productive use of land and water while preserving biodiversity and ecological processes. The project has three objectives: first, to produce a National Action Program (NAP) to Combat Desertification; second, to train people and strengthen institutions on how to plan for and implement SLM; and third, to integrate SLM into national and sectoral policies and regional plans. The project will strengthen the enabling environment for SLM while ensuring broad-based political and participatory support for the process.
Cambodia is committed to producing a NAP as a result of signing the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The Cambodia NAP will include analysis of the extent, trends and costs of land degradation; consolidation of efforts to improve security of tenure and access to natural resources by resource-users; support for research into better farming and forest management practices; and capacity building for national and local institutions on management, outreach and education for SLM.
- Develop a financial strategy for preparing the NAP.
- Produce the NAP and validate it through national, provincial and local workshops.
- Once the NAP has been adopted by the Government, disseminate it nationwide through all levels of society.
- Support capacity development and institutional strengthening at national, provincial and local levels, including training on landscape-based land use planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), resource economics and data collection and analysis.
- Develop decentralized Community Learning Networks for SLM and natural resources management.
- Demonstrate SLM best practices and communicate these examples to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), its local offices, local government authorities and Community Learning Networks.
- Contribute to a land use framework for Cambodia in general, and for the Cardamom Mountains complex and its buffer areas in particular.
- Support the incorporation of SLM into the National Strategic Development Plan and national, sub-national and sectoral policies and plans.
- Provide policy analysis to the MAFF to promote and coordinate sustainable forestry and agricultural land management for improving rural livelihoods.
- Identify ways to enhance women’s participation in SLM.
- Mobilize resources for SLM by developing project concepts and a medium term investment plan.
- An international workshop on designing an integrated financial strategy for NAP preparation was conducted in Siem Reap Province in 2009.
25 examples of best practice in five sectors – lowland agriculture, community forests, local government initiatives, community protected areas, and community fisheries
(flooded forests) – have been identified for potential incorporation into the NAP.
- A study of the causes of land degradation found that the main human causes are forest degradation and deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, minerals extraction and mine clearance.
- A study of the costs of land degradation has been launched with support from the UNDP Global Mechanism and the Stockholm Environment Institute.
- 691 participants from national and provincial government, commune councils, NGOs and partner projects attended workshops in 2009 on topics including the causes of land degradation, strategies for integrating SLM into commune plans, Georgraphical Information System (GIS) mapping, and documenting and disseminating best practices.
- Policy recommendations were provided to the Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Water for incorporating SLM into the National Strategic Development Plan Update (2009-2013).
- The project committed to implementing two activities at commune level during the district integration workshops in project target areas.
- Orientation workshops to help local authorities incorporate SLM into commune investment plans were conducted in 2009 for the Provincial Departments of Agriculture in Kampong Speu, Takeo and Preah Vihear.
- Sessions providing an orientation to SLM were conducted for 18 communes in nine provinces in 2009 to support the integration of SLM into local planning.
- 17 communes in three districts in Preah Vihear Province incorporated SLM into their commune investment programmes for 2010.
On World Day to Combat Desertification 2008 a national conference drew more than 60 participants to discuss Combatting Land Degradation for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2009, awareness raising leaflets and posters in Khmer were distributed
and an introduction to SLM for researchers and policy makers was produced in English and distributed on CD.
Land degradation in Cambodia has profound implications for development and poverty reduction. The main forms of land degradation – soil erosion and loss of soil fertility – are brought about by both natural and human causes, and its effects are exacerbated by climate change. Land degradation is a serious threat to food security, given that most of the population are poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. It is also a major cause of low rural productivity and consequently of rural poverty and is linked to policy failure, poverty, land use changes, natural resources exploitation and consumption. Depleted soils and degraded forests, combined with uncertainty over land tenure and access to natural resources, threaten food security and livelihoods. Poor people contribute to land degradation by encroaching on forest lands, often because they are marginalized due to inadequate enforcement of land regulations. The poor suffer most from diminishing returns to labour due to degraded and unproductive lands. Sustainable land use, access to natural resources, and forest and fishery conservation are therefore critical to reducing rural poverty and sustaining economic growth. Agriculture accounts for 30 percent of Cambodia’s GDP and employs more than 60 percent of the workforce. Women make up at least half of all rural workers and are responsible for 80 percent of food production, yet they tend to be landless and have less access to agricultural services. With proper support, women can help incorporate SLM into agricultural decision making.
- UNDP Thematic Area : Closed
April 2008–March 2011
Global Environment Facility:US$575,000 UNDP:US$410,000 Royal Government of Cambodia:US$62,500 UNDP Global Mechanism:US$58,250
Executing Agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Co-operating Agencies: Ministry of Environment (Department of Nature Conservation and Protection)
National activities in Phnom Penh; pilot work with provincial governments of Kampong Speu, Takeo and Preah Vihear provinces, and with five other provinces around the Cardamom Mountains complex – Battambang, Pailin, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, and Koh Kong.
Millennium Development Goal
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
UNDP Country Programme
Outcome 3: National and local authorities and communities are better able to conserve biodiversity and respond to climate change.
UNDP Thematic Area
Environment and Energy
UNDP Focal Point
Mr Sovanny CHHUM, Programme Analyst
UNDP, No. 53, Street 51, Phnom Penh
Tel: + 855 (0) 23 216 167
National Project Manager
Mr Serey Vathana HOU
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
No. 200 Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh
Tel: + 855 (0) 23 726 252; + 855 (0) 12 634 238
Updated: October 2010
Sustainable land management has potential to prevent land degradation and desertification, which threaten to undermine food security and inhibit poverty reduction.