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Sustainable Development of
Forest Resources in Cambodia

Research Report

Presented to

The Faculty of the Graduate School

Norton University
Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Sorn Somoline
August, 2008

Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present

without endangering the needs of the future. From this concept sustainable development

of forest resources in Cambodia is the way how to manage the forest resources for

current needs and also consider the available resources for future generation. In

Cambodia, forest resources play an importance role in economic improvement, social,

cultural and livelihood of the rural people. Cambodia's primary rainforest cover

decreased from over 75% in 1960s to about 60% today. Illegal and unsustainable

logging by commercial enterprises, military, local authorities, and a growing rural

population have resulted in high rates of forest loss and degradation. With the increasing

of the population the demand of forest for their living such as house building, fuel wood,

food has been increased day to day.

Development of Cambodian forest resource must take place within a severely

constrained and challenging context. In term of sustainable development of forest

resource, the Cambodian government has taken a number of activities in recent years to

solve problems in the forest sector. These include the preparation of policies and legal

framework for long term sustainable management of forests, law enforcement against

illegal logging, preparation of institutional framework to compose of different actors and

rules that provide the incentives to behave in particular ways and ultimately determine

the form that policy takes on the ground and harmonization the forest management

system into the regional and global.


TITLE PAGE ………….. ............................................................................................................i

ABSTRACT ………………………………………………………………………………...... ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS …………………………………………………………………..... iii

ACRONYMS …………………………………………………………………………….........v


1.1. Overview of the Research .................................................................................................01

1.2. Statement of problem ........................................................................................................02

1.3. Research questions ............................................................................................................04

1.4. Objectives of the study ......................................................................................................04

1.4. Significance of the study ...................................................................................................05


2.1. Cambodia policies and legislation for sustainable forest management................... ......... 07

2.1.1. Policies support forest management. .................................... .............................08

2.1.2. Legislations ....................................... .................................................................09

2.2. Key challenges of Government for sustainable forest management..................................11

2.2.1. Law enforcement against illegal logging ............................................................12

2.2.2. Forest management system .................................................................................14

2.2.3. Institutional framework.......................................................................................15



3.1. Conclusion.................................................................................................................... .....21

3.2. Recommendations .............................................................................................................23



ADB Asian Development Bank

CI Conservation International
CP Law on Criminal Procedure
CTS Case Tracking System
DNCP Department of Nature Conservation and Protection
DOF Department of Fisheries
EIA Environment Impact assessment
FA Forestry Administration
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization
FCMU Forest Crime Monitoring and Reporting Unit
IMF International Monetary Fund
JP Judicial Police
LLO Legislation and Litigation Office
MAFF Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
MLMUPC Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction
MOE Ministry of Environment
MOJ Ministry of Justice
NGO Non-Government Organization
NTFP Non-Timber Forest Products
RGC Royal Government of Cambodia




1.1 Overview of Cambodian forest resources

In Cambodia, forest resources play an importance role in livelihood of the rural

people. About 85% of the population live in rural area and depend on forest resources for

their subsistence such as logging, non timber collecting, wildlife hunting and cooking by

using fuel wood. Forests provide households a means for diversifying their subsistence

and income-generating activities, optimizing their labor resources during different

seasons, and "insuring" against the risks of agricultural failures. Moreover, people with

no land, little money for capital investments, and few alternative livelihood opportunities

can still often collect forest products for subsistence. In this manner, Cambodia's forest

resources not only provide a foundation for food security, income, and employment for

most of the population, but also an essential "safety net" for the rural poor. Forests

provide a range of environmental services, which have benefits outside the immediate

area of the forests. In Cambodia, the forests provide an important source and protection

for watershed. Forest have the function in balancing the environment like helping the

regulating of water flow in the river, controlling erosion of soils, the conservation of

animal and plant biological diversity. In particular, they perform essential functions in

ensuring fish breeding grounds and in regulating water flow to farmers in the lowlands.

Furthermore, Cambodian forest provide the social and economic importance in national

development like supply wood material for the production of large and small industrial


The forests resources in Cambodia are diverse and comprise a variety of

evergreen, deciduous, mixed and mangrove forest types. Current estimates of remaining

natural forest cover vary considerably, but the consensus is that about half of Cambodia’s

land area has some form of forest cover. Cambodia's rainforest cover has decreased from

over 75% in 1960s to about 60% today (Forestry Administration report, May 2007). The

degradation and conversion of Cambodian forest are mainly caused by illegal logging,

over exploitation, forest land encroachment and grabbing, improper of forest

management and lack of law enforcement. Otherwise high population growth which

needs more land for cultivation, the increase demands of wood and non-wood product of

local, poverty and the development of infrastructures such as road construction, dam

construction are also caused the degradation of the forest resources.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The population in Cambodia now is around 13 million with the growth rate at 2.5

(National Statistics 2004). With the increasing of the population the demand of forest for

their living such as house building, fuel wood, food has been increased day to day. It

caused the shortage of forest resources that affect to the livelihood of the people and the

environment like flood, draught, especially the climate change. The improper used of

forest resources will affect to the ecosystem of the forest, wildlife, aquatic and water

resources. The country has only about 10 million hectare of forested area remaining

(Forest cover assessment year 2002, Forestry Administration). Most of the logging is

conducted to satisfy the international demand for tropical timber. Logging rates

accelerated dramatically during the 1990's when unprecedented numbers of lumber mills

were constructed. Besides cutting forests for construction, land property, cutting pressure

on forests also exist to satisfy the growing demand for energy. Fuel wood is the number

one source of energy in Cambodia and is widely used for cooking. Period of 1970s, the

estimated annual production of logs and fuel woods was 385,000 cubic meters and

357,000 cubic meters respectively, and average log exports amounted to 94,508 cubic

meters. During the period of 1990s, log production increased substantially each year from

600,000 cubic meters in 1991 to 4.3 million cubic meters, with export earning of 114

US$ million, in 1997 (Department of Forestry and Wildlife report, 2001). Large tracks of

natural forest are under heavy pressure due to logging, encroachment, shifting cultivation.

With the population growth rate at 2.5 %, the rural people estimate 85% of total

population use fuel wood for cooking that particular to forest degradation. An estimate

six million cubic meters of wood is used every year as fuel wood (Reforestation Office

Report, 2001). As a result, Cambodia’s rich natural habitats have been significantly

degraded, affecting the quality and quantity of habitat for biodiversity and non-timber

forest resources, both important elements of food and livelihood security. Cambodia’s

coastal, marine and freshwater resources are also being degraded by a combination of

river and coastal sedimentation (often linked to logging), conversion of mangroves,

poorly managed shrimp aquaculture and salt farming and dynamite fishing. Pressures on

aquatic resources and on environmentally-significant wetlands are also increasing rapidly,

most notably from over-fishing, illegal fishing practices, increasing use of hazardous

pesticides, and conversion of flooded forests, as well as swamp drainage for agriculture.

The causes of the decline in available forest resources are reportedly illegal and

unsustainable logging practices and restrictions on access to forest concession areas.


Illegal and unsustainable logging by commercial enterprises, military, local authorities,

and a growing rural population have resulted in high rates of forest loss and degradation.

Weak governance and unsustainable resource use, shifting cultivation in the upland areas,

especially in the northeast of the country, and forest clearing for agriculture are causing

rapid deforestation. The main problem of illegal logging is the weak of forest

management system and lack of law enforcement.

1.3 Research questions

Concerning the problem mentioned above, this research will respond to the following


1. What are the policies and legislations that support the sustainable forest

management in Cambodia?

2. What are the key challenges of government enforcement agencies to eliminate the

illegal logging?

3. What is the effective mechanism that the government and all stakeholders should

set up to manage the forest resources in a sustainable way?

1.4 Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is:

1. To identify the policies and legislations for supporting the sustainable forest

management in Cambodia.

2. To ensure the key challenges of government agencies for sustainable forest


3. To determine the effective mechanism for the forestry sector and all stakeholders

to implement the sustainable forest development in Cambodia.


1.5 Significance of the study

The finding of this report will contribute significantly to the management system

of forest resources in Cambodia in the sustainable way. It can serve as the guidelines for

forestry institution and local community to manage and utilize the forest resources in

Cambodia for improving their current uses and also for the next generation. This research

will provide the effective mechanism for implementing the sustainable forest

development in Cambodia. Other more, this research report will serve as future reference

for Cambodia Forestry Administration and student researches.




Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present

without endangering the needs of the future1. From this concept sustainable development

of forest resources in Cambodia is the way how to manage the forest resources for current

needs and also consider the available resources for future generation.

In term of sustainable development of forest resource, the Cambodian government

has taken a number of activities in recent years to solve problems in the forest sector.

These include the preparation of policies and legal framework for long term sustainable

management of forests. According to World Bank's report in January 1999, the

government issued a declaration for the forest estate. The declaration also announced a

crackdown on illegal logging, ordered the police and armed forces to assist Department

of Forestry and Wildlife in law enforcement, and banned forest clearing2. Some of the

results of recent initiatives include the cancellation of 12 concessions early in 1999, a

reduction in illegal logging, seizures of equipment and illegally harvested logs and

wildlife, and the closure of hundreds of illegal sawmills. Towards the end of 1999, the

government established forest crime monitoring units with international assistance and

began a review of the concession system. A new Forestry Law was adopted by the National

Assembly on August 31, 2002. The new Law is intended to clarify national forestry

objectives, forest categories and jurisdiction, management and administration, resource

rights, and enforcement.

World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987
Natural Resources and Rural Livelihood in Cambodia, CDRI,2002, page 103

This Chapter will discuss the important laws and policies for supporting the

sustainable forest development and how the government takes action against illegal

logging, conversion of forestland to other land uses, forestlands encroachment and

forestland grabbing which are the crucial issues that will result forest degradation and

deforestation. Moreover, this chapter also discuses about the roles of government, public

and private sector in forest management; and the beneficiaries in forest sector. The

participation of all stakeholders in forestry sector is very important for forest

management especially involvement from the forest user groups (forestry communities)

in sustainable forest management.

2.1. Cambodian policies and legislation for sustainable forest


Development of the Cambodia forestry sector must take place within a severely

constrained and challenging context. Emerging from a period of war and civil unrest that

has weakened the rule of law and every aspect of society, Cambodia has few human and

institutional resources to apply to the problems of the forest sector. Achieving the goals

which Government has already set for itself in the forest sector, including sustained yield

management, protection of biodiversity, mobilization of resources to support

development in other sectors, and protection of traditional users, will require combined

efforts by Government, the private sector, local communities, foreign investors and the

international community. The high levels of illegal logging that now mark the sector, and

which have led Government to adopt a ban on log exports and to drastically curtail

exploitation by authorized concessionaires, are illustrative of the economic value of forest


resource and the scope for capturing larger benefits through improved sectoral


2.1.1. Policy support forest management

Sustainable development of forest management had stated in the Millennium

Development Goal of Cambodia. These goals have set out the benchmark related to

sustainable forest for years 20154 that focus on (i) maintain forest coverage of 60% of

total land area; (ii) maintain the surface of 23 protected areas equal to 3.3 million

hectares; (iii) maintain the surface of 6 new forest-protected areas equal to 1.35 million

hectares; (iv) increase the number of rangers to 1200 in protected areas and 500 in forest-

protected areas; (v) reduce the fuel wood dependency to 52%. The Government also

ensures sustainable forest management through forestry reform that based on the three

pillars5. To achieve this reform the government has approved on forest law in year 2002

and developed other legislations like Royal Decree, Sub-Decree, Prakas (declaration) and

codes of practice (or guidelines). These legislations are the instruments and means for

implementing the sustainable forest development of Cambodian forest.

Cambodia’s National Forest Policy Statement and Guidelines were formulated in

consultation with all stakeholders. The policy has been updated several times to reflect

the needs and interests of different groups. The policy states clearly the government’s

commitment to sustainable forest management, the assessment and optimal allocation of

land resources, and the participation of local communities in protecting and managing

forest resources. It also specifies the government’s role in promoting community forestry

World Bank Report on Cambodia Forest Policy Assessment, 1996
Cambodia Helving Poverty by 2015, World Bank , Poverty Assessment 2006
Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency, page 30

programs. The policy is based on the following elements 6 : (i) dedicating appropriate

forest areas as permanent forest estates; (ii) promoting sustainable management with

particular reference to conserving biodiversity and soil and water resources; (iii) assuring

the traditional forest use rights and privileges of communities; (iv) sustaining and

increasing the supply of forest products for social and economic growth; (v) enhancing

the contribution of forestry to human welfare; (vi) strengthening the national economy,

with special reference to equitable economic development; (vii) increasing the

participation of local communities and the private sector in forest protection,

management and improvement; (viii) supporting community forestry programs.

2.1.2. Legislations

The Forestry law had been adopted by the National Assembly on August 31, 2002,

which have 18 chapter and 109 articles. In this law have mentioned sustainable forest

management in the article 8 and article 9 of Chapter 3 that provide the power to the

Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries especially Forestry

Administration the implementation of the objectives of the National Forest Management

Plan. This law’s ambiguity provides the government substantial discretionary power

regarding forest exploitation and management7. In addition to the new forestry law, a

number of other forestry regulations have been issued by the government on forest

management. These legislations include Sub-decree on Forest Concession Management,

Sub-Decree on forestry community, and Code of practice for forest harvesting.

Forest concession management sub-decree: The sub-decree, which was

approved in 2000, ensures the rights and privileges of local communities and related

Royal Government of Cambodia/ARD 1998
White and Case Analysis, 1998

government institutions, and allows the private sector to participate in the allocation of

new forest concessions, development of forest concession management plans and

monitoring of logging operations. Moreover, the sub-decree requires a permanent

consultative communal committee to facilitate discussions on all issues involving

concessions and local communities living in or near concession areas. This measure is

thought necessary to protect the subsistence and religious rights of local communities.

The sub-decree also lays the foundations for improved industry performance by

establishing a competitive bidding process for future concession management and


Forestry community management sub-degree: According to Forest Law the

customary user and right, management of community forest and private forest have

mentioned in the article 40 " For local communities living within or near the Permanent

Forest Reserves, the state shall recognize and ensure their traditional user rights for the

purpose of traditional customs, beliefs, religions and living as defined in this article"8.

More recently, community forestry has received considerable attention as a

potential alternative (or complement) to forest concession management. Community

forestry is broadly an effort to support and empower communities to continue their

traditional uses of forest resources and encourage sustainable practices. Community

forestry is also intended to harness local knowledge and skills regarding forest

management and ensure communities have a stronger voice in forestry sector decision-

making. Sub-degree on forestry community a legal frame work to assist the people who

live in rural area in establishing Community forestry to contribute in the sustainable

Article 40, Law on Forestry, 31 August, 2002

forest management of forest resources. This sub-degree also provides an effective means

for a community forestry to participate in the reforestation, rehabilitation and

conservation of natural resources such as forest and wildlife.

Code of practice for forest harvesting: The Cambodian code of practice for forest

harvesting, which was prepared under a loan from the World Bank, passed into law on 26

July 1999 9 . The code is designed to ensure sustainable forest management in forest

concession areas. It prescribes harvesting practices that protect the environment in line

with the principles of sustainable development. These practices aim to protect sites of

cultural significance, maintain the capacity of the forest to regenerate, improve the

economic and social contributions of forestry, and ensure the health and safety of forest

workers. Guidelines for implementing these practices exist in the areas (i) management

planning systems; (ii) inventories in the forest management cycle; (iii) biodiversity

conservation in protected forests; (iv) social forestry in concession areas; (v) management

of timber theft; (vi) forest engineering; (vii) Environmental impact assessment; (viii)

special management areas; (ix) the selection of silvicultural systems and the management

of wildlife habitats, water catchments and forest inventories.

2.2. Key challenges of Government for sustainable forest management

Sustainable forest management is a priority challenge of Cambodian Government.

In term of sustainable forest management the Government has put up the forest reform is

the potential point in the rectangular strategy. The key challenges of the Government is to

implement the law enforcement, forest management reform and set up the institutional

Natural Resources and Rural Livelihood in Cambodia, CDRI, 2002

framework in order to cooperate with all stakeholder in forestry sector especially enable

people to participate in forest resources management and encourage their ownership

through forestry community.

2.2.1. Laws enforcement against illegal logging

Illegal logging is increasingly recognized as a leading problem facing forest

management globally. Pressure to stop illegal logging comes not only from

environmental NGOs and environmentally aware consumers, but also from governments

both of producer and consumer countries, as well as intergovernmental organizations and

some actors in the private sector.

Illegal activities primarily associated with commercial scale logging include:

logging in protected areas and outside of concession boundaries, use of bribes to obtain

concessions, logging of protected species, extraction of timber at levels higher than

authorized, undervaluing and under measuring harvested timber, smuggling, transport,

export and import of illegally harvested timber without paying taxes, and use in


In reality law enforcement actions by the Forestry Administration (FA) follow

one of four courses. The first, giving of a warning, is a legally valid action under the

Forestry Law (FL) which involves no penalty. The other three actions follow different

administrative and judicial pathways: Path I - Transactional Fines, Path II - prosecution

through the Courts, and Path III - seizure of forest products or by-products without the

arrest of an offender. Because these different courses of action involve different

combinations of the stages in the law enforcement chain, it is necessary to calculate their

Enforcement Disincentives (ED) separately.


A finding of the study which has policy implications for the FA is that the current

approach of using strong law enforcement as almost the sole strategy to deter potential

offenders is likely to lead to an expensive and never-ending cycle of law enforcement and

illegal activities10. The best outcome that can be hoped for from this approach is that the

loss of natural resource values is kept within acceptable limits and that the necessary

level of law enforcement remains affordable.

The study also examined the conditions influencing the effectiveness of the FA

Judicial Police. At present they are scattered through a variety of administrative levels

within the FA, without any unity, real coordination or recognition of the professional

nature of their role. Unless they can be brought under one national management unit, and

given the level of practical, professional policing skills and knowledge that their task

requires they are unlikely to become significantly more effective. An argument could be

made for moving toward increased efficiency as well as increased professionalism by

eliminating the duplication inherent in the present systems of FA, MOE and the civil

Police, and amalgamating all forestry and wildlife enforcement under one organization.

Because of the similarities in the methodology and, in some instances, the perpetrators,

such an organization could be associated with, and under the same management as,

enforcement against trafficking in humans and drugs. The FA (and the MOE) currently

have Forest Crime Monitoring and Reporting Units (FCMU) which are under the scrutiny

of the Independent Forest Monitor11. The FA FCMU operates a Case Tracking System

The effectiveness of Law Enforcement Against Forest and Wildlife Crime: A Study of Enforcement
Disincentives and Other Relevant Factors in Southwestern Cambodia, 2005
Claridge, G., Veasna Chea-Leth and In Van Chhoan (2005). Enforcement Economics: Improving
Law Enforcement for the Protection of Wildlife and Forest Resources in Cambodia - Report of
Tasks 1 & 2. Conservation International, Phnom Penh.

(CTS) that is supposed to record all detections and actions relating to forest crime, and to

track the progress of cases. Though the FCMU is responsible for monitoring the

effectiveness of law enforcement, the CTS does not produce a sufficiently wide range of

indicators to allow any useful assessment of either effectiveness or the location of

weaknesses in the system. It also is not utilized in increasing the likelihood of successful

outcomes of law enforcement in individual cases. Investment in upgrading this database,

using its outputs in an adaptive approach to management of law enforcement, and making

its output available to field offices would yield very significant improvements in law

enforcement. Overall, a change in the indicators used to judge success, not of the FCMU

but of the whole FA, would make a substantial contribution to achieving sustainable

forest management in Cambodia, including improved law enforcement. Success needs to

be measured on the basis of changes to the area and quality of forest managed sustainably

in accordance with its status (production, protection, etc.).

2.2.2. Forest management system

Forest management system is the important factor of sustainable forest

development. The Cambodian government has prepared their management system for (1)

Forest land that focus on legal provision to indigenous people for collective titling of

indigenous lands ; (2) Protected area under protection with a range of qualities, and a

growing loss of biodiversity such as limestone forest, swamp forest, some mangrove

areas, and open pine forests, sub-montane shrublands, grasslands and wetlands are

excluded from the protected area system while areas of degraded forest are included and

the institutional framework is incomplete and inconsistent, with competing jurisdictions

between MAFF and MOE, and a legal framework still to be agreed for protected areas.

Forests under protection are managed by MOE as protected areas and by MAFF as

protection forests 12 ; (3) Forest land for production that have major form of forest

concession management, community forestry management, plantation forest management

and unorganized multi-value harvesting13; and (4) Harmonization of forest management

system in ASEAN 's sustainable forest management that have 6 criteria such as extent of

forest resources, biological diversity, forest health and vitality, productive function of

forest resources, protective function of forest resources and socio-economic

function14 .These criteria have their own indicators for monitoring and assessment the

forest resources changed and it is the best means for harmonization the forest

management in Cambodia into ASEAN's forest management.

2.2.3. Institutional framework

In institutional terms the forest sector is composed of different actors and rules

that provide the incentives to behave in particular ways and ultimately determine the

form that policy takes on the ground. The key actor for forest management is Forestry

Administration but it needs the cooperation from all stakeholders in order to ensure the

sustainable forest management. These stakeholders include all the related ministries, civil

societies, donors and the end users. The enabling agencies: These are the agencies that provide the

specific policy context which is then implemented by different organizations:

1.Government agencies that all have some ‘claim’ over the forest lands and

therefore affect what happens on the ground including: (i) The Ministry of Agriculture,

Forestry law, August 31, 2002 ,Royal Degree
Forest Management, Independent Forest Sector Review, 2004, Chapter 3
Strengthening Monitor Assessment and Reporting on Sustainable Forest Management: National
Network for Harmonization of Monitor Assessment and Reporting Information, 20/06/2008

Forestry and Fisheries with its implementing arm the Forestry Administration and, to a

lesser extent, the Department of Fisheries; (ii)The Ministry of Environment with its

implementing arm the Department of Nature Conservation and Protection; (iii) The

Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning and Construction; (iv) The Ministry

of Industry, Mines and Energy and the Department of Mineral Resources. According to

forest law The Forestry Administration is the government authority under MAFF taking

responsibility in managing forest and forest resources within both permanent forest estate

and protected forest except flooded forest which is under the management of Department

of Fisheries and the management of forest and forest resources in protected areas is under

MOE15. Anyway, the law has defined the right of cooperation with MOE in suppressing

the forest offenses occurred within the protected areas. Under this law, FA has the duty

to issue regulations to govern forest activities; study, prepare and implement forest

management plans for both permanent forest estate and protected forest; demarcate and

classify the forest states; restore and reforest on degraded forestlands; promote the

development of forest communities; take appropriate measures to investigate, prevent and

suppress forest destruction, forest fire and forest clearing; and assess all forest related

activities that may have a significant adverse social and environmental impact prior to

approval of such activities. This law also promotes to have public participation in any

government decision that has the potential for heavy impact on concerned general

citizens, livelihood of local communities and forest resources of the Kingdom of

Cambodia; and to conduct ESIA for any major forest ecosystem related activities that

may cause adverse impact on social and environment. Any final decisions by the Royal

Government on major forest ecosystems related activities must consider the

Article 3, Law on Forestry, August 31, 2002

recommendations of the final EIA. MAFF shall propose to the RGC to designate as

Protection Forest any part of the Permanent Forest Reserves, which qualifies as a special

ecosystem area, an area of scientific, cultural, or tourism value or an area for biodiversity,

water and soil conservation. Although FA under MAFF holds primary responsibility for

managing state-Prudent policymaking for the forestry sector requires up-to-date information

on forest cover, stocks, and harvests. Five logging seasons have passed since the last update

of forest cover data. A forest cover update, complemented with a sample of “on-the-ground”

inventory studies, would provide an important indicator for assessing progress on forest

management since 1997. In addition, such a study would help in identifying the range of

places in Cambodia where deforestation is occurring most rapidly, allowing for a more

comprehensive assessment of the root causes of deforestation and potential management

solutions. Recent forestry reform efforts suggest an opportunity to reduce deforestation rates

and develop management systems more beneficial to the rural poor. These efforts include the

recent suspension of concession logging, issuing of a new Forestry Law and Sub-decree on

Community Forestry, and development and expansion of community forest management.

2. Civil Society Organization: These agencies operate at two levels. They are

sometimes advocacy organizations working on behalf or their members or on behalf of

groups who would otherwise not have voice. Secondly, some Civil Society Organizations

act as delivery agencies providing technical or social services to communities and groups.

3. Donors: The donors are international agencies of governments or

multilateral organizations, who, by reason of their nature or funding, are able to

influenced government policy.

18 The framing agencies: These are the agencies that set the broader

political context within which the forestry sector must operate e.g. Ministry of Interior,

Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Council of Ministers. The implementation agencies: These are the agencies and

organizations that implement or deliver policy and who are affected directly affected by

the policy framework and the formal and informal rules that determine who uses the

forest resource, under what arrangements and for what purposes16. These include public

organizations such as Government Departments, private sector agencies such as

concessionaires and non –governmental agencies. These agencies build, interpret and

implement policy on the ground, interact with each other both through the formal process

that is provided through the legal framework and through informal processes based on

networks of patronage and extraction. Power between agencies is exerted through their

ability to capture resources and build stronger networks of allegiance. End users of forest services: The ends users of forest services including,

directly, forest livelihood-dependent groups and indirectly all citizens through a

contribution to the national economy and the maintenance of environmental services. We

can also recognize biodiversity and ecological services as an end in themselves.

Figure 1 illustrates the policy or enabling framework through which the sector is

governed. Government plays a central role, as the lead agent for policy. The policy

framework acts as a hub through which services are delivered and users access resources.

The policy framework also plays a key role as an instrument allowing citizens to

contribute to sectoral policy and advocacy agencies to represent the voices and arguments


of those who either cannot have their own voice (in the case of biodiversity) or are not

sufficiently empowered such as the extreme poor.

Figure 1: Institutional Players and their relationship17

Donor Overall Policy

Advocate Sector Policy Citizens


Delivery User

The term “stakeholder” is often used without distinguishing between different

types of stakeholder, their interests and, therefore, their roles and relationships. There are

at least four major sets of players in the sector, which need to be differentiated (i) Policy

player : government, donors (through the funding choices they make); (ii)Delivery

players include: government, private sector, military, NGOs; (iii) advocacy player:

stakeholders (NGOs, associations such as the CTIA), scientific/environmental

community; (iii) Beneficiaries: users/ forest communities member. In this case the policy
Independent Forest Sector Review, 2004

or enabling framework through which the sector is governed. Government plays a central

role, as the lead agent for policy. The policy framework acts as a hub through which

services are delivered and users access resources. The policy framework also plays a key

role as an instrument allowing citizens to contribute to sectoral policy and advocacy

agencies to represent the voices and arguments of those who either cannot have their own

voice (in the case of biodiversity) or are not sufficiently empowered such as the extreme

poor. This case the stakeholder can combine the important features of trust, transparency,

openness and flexibility together.




3.1. Conclusion

In the context of forest resources in Cambodia this study concludes that the

sustainability of forest resources are required the effort of government and also the

participation from all stakeholders. In terms of the population growth the demand of

timber supply has been increase day to day because most of population in Cambodia live

depend on forest for their livelihood such as household building, fuel wood, and land for

cultivated . The declining of forest resources has become the crucial issue in Cambodia.

Cambodia now has policies and legislations to support the sustainable forest management

and also harmonize the management system into the regional and global forest

management such as ASEAN, International Tropical Timber Organization, Forest and

Agriculture Organization. The important thing for the Government is how effort the

government should be take action on law enforcement.

Actually, the policy and law are absolutely important for sustainable forest

development in Cambodia. Anyway, the institutional frame work, the sector player and

their relationship, public accountability and partnership and the administrative reform for

the government system are the effective mechanism for sustainable forest development.

Important institutional support has been gained in recent years through the country's

participation in the International Model Forest Network18. Most importantly, an effective

partnership process has brought stakeholders together to set up voluntary, cooperative

partnerships and a Model Forest Partnership Committee. The committee is comprised of

Exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific, FAO, 2005

representatives of differences stakeholder groups including the government, Non

government organization, industries, farmer, technology providers and academic

organizations. The partnership committee provides a forum for exchanging ideas on

forest management, resolving conflicts and encouraging participatory decision making.

In Cambodia forest sector there are many conflict of interest related to forest

management. Even the government has set up the institutional role in the forest

management but the conflict has happened between the Forestry Administration and

Ministry of Environment. Those conflicts come from the overlap in responsibility of the

forest stakeholder. What has become apparent from this sectoral review is that the roles

and, therefore, relationships between many of the key players are confused, creating a

“policy nexus” resulting in a lack of transparency and trust between key players. There is

confusion in the role of the military operating as service deliverers (contracted to protect

forests) and as rent collectors along the roads. Anyway, some NGOs also play a duality

of roles, operating as both provider of services and advocates for interest groups. This

lack of transparency affects the legitimacy and effectiveness of their advocacy role. Other

more, within government, there is also confusion of roles when officials are seen to make

decisions and propose policies when their relatives or friends have related business

interests. Otherwise, donors are seen by advocacy groups as a means of influencing

government, and are, therefore, subject to interest group pressure. A clear and agreed

strategy between donors and between donors and government is required to avoid

piecemeal responses and ad-hoc use of conditionality, sometimes imposed by donors as a

result of NGO pressure. This confusion of roles has been accentuated by the level at

which the policy debate has been conducted, often centered around events and at the

stage of policy implementation (such as log transport permits, or the events at Tumring)

rather than around the formulation of policy. Good policy rarely evolves as a result of

immediate responses to difficult and “contested” events. Furthermore, the policy debate

is narrowed down to the immediate interest groups and excludes wider constituencies.

Public accountability and participation in decision-making has been limited in the

forestry sector. In the main, forestry decision-making has been non-transparent both

because of the dispersed structures and diverse actors through which they are made as

well as the way in which powerful forces exert and exercise their interests over the sector.

Above all, this makes the decision-making process a difficult one to engage with,

particularly as the degree of civil participation in state-level decision-making is at a very

early stage of development. This is both in terms of the limited capacity of government to

respond to civil society participation as well as civil society’s weak capacity to exercise

its own voice rather than through NGOs acting as its representative.

3.2. Recommendations

In order to reach the sustainable development of forest in Cambodia it needs the strategy

on addressing illegal logging, community forestry activities, forest management system

and mechanism support.

Illegal logging is often a manifestation of deeper, structural problems in the forest

sector. Strategies to address these issues include: (1) Providing assessments that link

illegal logging and forest crime to livelihood concerns and determine the institutional

capacity for governance; (2) Strengthening judicial systems and the rule of law; (3)

Restructuring forest industries such that processing capacity does not exceed supply; (4)

Reforming concessions, policies and regulations – e.g., the ability to terminate


concessions for non-compliance with regulations, use of independent observers and log

auditing; (5) Promoting the adoption of log tracking technology to follow timber from

harvest through milling to ensure that illegal wood does not enter the legal supply;

(6)Visibly demarcating boundaries between concessions, protected areas, and indigenous

territories; (8) Encouraging investments in sustainable forest management, which also

gives investors an interest in stopping illegal forest management practices that distort

market prices; (9)Developing common standards for measuring and reporting forest

crime; and (10) Boycotting timber from conflict zones, particularly areas outside the

control of recognized governments, and avoidance of collaboration with companies that

trade arms for timber.

At the community scale, a key problem is the lack of recognition and clarification

of traditional property rights, including rights to ecosystem services provided by forests,

as well as the criminalization of some traditional uses. This also gives communities

greater incentive to collaborate in protecting forests against outside encroachment.

Collaborative law enforcement will require effective decentralization of authority

accompanied with appropriate resources available for implementation. An example of

community participation in management and enforcement in exchange for limited access

and use rights is the Joint Forest Management Network. The study recommends some

strategy to address community activities include: (1) Recognizing and enforcing

indigenous rights; (2) Including low-income and indigenous peoples in the process of rule

making and implementation.

As discussed above there are overlap of responsibilities and roles between forest

stake holders as well as the confusion of the military role operating as service deliverers

(contracted to protect forests) and as rent collectors along the roads. To avoid this

problem policy should be reformed to: (1) Reduce conflicts between formal laws and

traditional norms and forest uses; (2) Establish or clarify property rights to ecosystem

services and responsibilities for providing them; (3) Motivate stakeholders to collaborate

in law enforcement by enabling them to effectively participate in decision making and

share the benefits of legal harvesting and conservation; (4) Increase risk to those engaged

in illegal practices; (5) Provide transparent mechanisms for conflict resolution.

However, salaries of government in the forestry sector are so low that it is just not

possible to support a livelihood on current salaries without supplementation through

external employment (project, secondment or consultancy), private assets or means, or

from ex-officio payments. Without affecting the demand side, by paying higher (and

adequate) salaries, there remains little chance of achieving transparent and public-minded

policies. Such a situation will work against gains to be made from establishing legitimate

prior claim. Administration reform for bureaucrat is necessary for supporting the law

enforcement. It is recognized that low salary of the forestry staff caused corruption and

the law enforcement is not efficient. Anyway, the capacity of the forestry staff is still

limited. In order to reform the bureaucrat, government should consider about staff salary

and capacity building of forestry officer.



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Livelihood in Cambodia, page 103

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Equity and Effectiveness, Page 30

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White and Case Analysis, 1998

Law on Forestry, 31 August, 2002, Article 40

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