The Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project

The Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project (SCRP) is part of the Indo-Burma Hotspot, one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots. It is a critical watershed for the Gulf of Thailand, providing fresh water to the largest contiguous mangrove forest left in the Gulf, the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary. The project area contains a mosaic of habitats from dense evergreen and pine forests on its ridge tops to lowland melaleuca wetlands, flooded grasslands, lakes, and coastal mangroves in its lowlands. The area supports at least 52 species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The landscape has also been identified by the Royal Government of Cambodia as an opportunity for tiger reintroduction. This area also provides important food sources for Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam while supporting climate regulation for the Southeast Asian peninsula.

How it works

The SCRP has 20 major waterways that feed 3,800 villages in over six provinces, contributing to the improved livelihoods of the local villagers that rely on the river for resources and transportation. Being one of the most threatened forest landscapes in Southeast Asia, due to uncontrolled small-scale land conversion to agricultural land by migrants, and conversions to agro-industrial plantations by the private sector, the project area requires great conservation efforts. The project provides the government with technical assistance to help them implement forest protection practices and patrol the area. Community development and education programs have been put in place with the help of Wildlife Alliance, teaching locals how to switch to sustainable natural resource use.

The Project will also prevent the emission of an average of 3,867,568 tCO2e annually. This will be achieved largely by training on improved agricultural methods, creating alternative income sources, creating new jobs and employment opportunities, and supporting stricter environmental law enforcement across the landscape.

Community members and project stakeholders were consulted during this period to determine the Project’s expected benefits, costs, and risks to them, and to identify the indicators to be used to measure these impacts.

Offsets Made it Happen

Deforestation is a means of survival for the people within the villages in the project area; this has created a cycle of illegal logging, poverty, and charcoal production. Without funds from carbon offsets, the forest area would have continued to be degraded and logged for cash crops and converted to agriculture, thus contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions from harvesting and a reduced capacity for carbon sequestration in the forests.

Carbon offset funds have also contributed to the overall well-being of the local villagers, by involving community members in project participation and helping reduce poverty rates in remote areas.

Other Benefits of the Project

PEOPLE

The Project supports the livelihoods of 21 villages in nine communes around the perimeter of the project area. These communities represent approximately 2,475 families and 10,550 individuals.

Scholarships for a four-year bachelor’s degree at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the Royal University of Agriculture will be provided to youth from project communities to directly address one of the critical drivers of deforestation identified during stakeholder workshops (i.e. low education rates and limited opportunities for post-primary school education). This fund will be available for community members from an additional 8 villages in four communes, in addition to those directly benefiting from the project.

Employment, income generation activities, and initiatives to stimulate investment in businesses will be designed to reduce pressure on the environment while significantly increasing community well-being. Additional programs will address food security, improve health and education facilities, as well as raising environmental awareness.

BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity co-benefits will be achieved through greater protection of the ecosystem predominantly using increased security and improved monitoring. The Project will also be protecting critical habitat for significant populations of many IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, including the Asian elephant, Asiatic black bear, sun bear, large spotted civet, clouded leopard, and dhole, as well as the critically endangered reptiles the Siamese crocodile and Southern river terrapin.

Project at Glance

Project Type :

REDD+, Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use

Location :

Southern Cardamom National Park & Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary. Thailand

Estimated Annual Emission Reductions :

3,867,568 tonnes of CO2e

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