The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has registered 1,359ha of land as the O’Bosleav Forest Community Land in Kampong Thom province in an effort to implement a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) project to preserve forests for carbon forest sales.
Suon Sovann, deputy director of the Forestry Administration, said on October 12 that the community land is in Tomring commune of Sandan district.
He said the land was registered as state land and encroachment would not be allowed, but people can still use the forest as before.
“People can still collect resin, vines and rattan. They just have to help patrol the forest for preservation and we can obtain carbon for sale,” he said.
Sovann said people were happy that the community had been successfully registered as state land. The registration was only possible if there was no land dispute.
Rights group Adhoc spokesman Soeng Sen Karuna said on October 12 that he was pleased with the registration of the community forest land because this was something that everyone wanted, and it showed the will of relevant institutions to protect the forest. He added that in the past, some areas had still been encroached upon despite being protected by the government’s sub-decrees.
“The registration of the community forest land forms the basis for the forest community living in the area. They have a right to participate in the protection of the forest,” he said.