Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Carbon credit offset market booms in Mondulkiri; further growth anticipated

Carbon credit offset market booms in Mondulkiri; further growth anticipated

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Piles of more than 200 cars, vans and trucks seized for illegally transporting timber, pictured on July 28 in Mondulkiri province within Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Carbon credit offset market booms in Mondulkiri; further growth anticipated

Over the course of the past 12 months in Mondulkiri province at least 85 suspects have been sent to court for offences stemming from 195 cases of natural resource crimes, of which 160 cases were sent to court and 30 of those cases have thus far incurred fines.

In addition to those prosecutions, 15,600 snares were removed and the province sold carbon offset credits worth $200,000 in 2021 and $600,000 already in 2022.

These statistics were all provided by Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment director Keo Sopheak at a press conference on the zero-snaring campaign’s progress in the province on July 29 as it has been running for six months of 2021 and six months of 2022.

“We have seized 628 chainsaws, 59 vehicles, six sawmills, 12 tractors, 29 trucks, 289 motorcycles, two boats, 5,802 illegally-planted boundary markers, 24 homemade guns – including one automatic weapon – some ammunition and we seized various wild animals and illegally logged timber,” he added.

Ministry of Environment secretary of state Neth Pheaktra said that this report was a good indicator of the scale and scope of forestry, natural resources and wildlife crimes happening in the Kingdom because Mondulkiri has 1.3 million ha of protected conservation land, while Cambodia has in total 21 of 24 provinces with natural protected areas that span a total of 7.3 million ha of land or about 41 per cent of the Kingdom’s total territory.

“Mondulkiri province has effectively cracked down on most of the forest crimes happening there and that’s a good sign because the province has the largest amount of protected land in all of Cambodia,” he added.

He continued that Cambodia has sold carbon credits in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary to major international firms from 2016 through 2020 for $11.6 million and all Cambodia has to do to earn that money and keep earning it is to conserve its forests and stop their destruction.

The government and its partners have been looking for additional new markets to sell carbon credits on to take advantage of the proceeds available to increase and strengthen the work of protecting and conserving natural resources and to boost the local economies for the people living in those areas.

Chhay Kimheak, head of the REDD+ project – a UN carbon credits framework – for the Keo Seima Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said that for 2022, the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary had sold carbon credits to the voluntary market for $600,000 and that was a threefold increase compared to the year 2021.

“For 2022, we sold carbon credits to the voluntary market from the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary for $200,000 in 2021 and then for $600,000 in 2022 – a threefold increase, compared to 2021. We divided the proceeds among 20 villages according to their scores related to how well they participated in efforts to protect natural resources,” she said.

She said that she expected that in 2023 the proceeds that will go to these communities could top one million dollars, so long as the communities strive to join in the protection and keep the forests there intact.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm