Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management Planning and Demonstration Project in Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia)

Project title: Integrated forest ecosystem management planning and demonstration project in Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia) [Project ID: 2017P2-CAM ]
Supervisory agency: Forestry Administration
Executing agency: Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development
Budget in USD (total/APFNet grant): 1,792,663.60/1,515,465.60 
Duration: June 2017–June 2021
Target economy: Cambodia
Location: Siem Reap and Takeo province, and Damrey Chak Thlork Community Forestry in Kampong Speu province
Project objectives: Develop a model for community forest management by testing appropriate restoration and silviculture technology and strengthening forest management; Mitigate the dependence of community on forests by improving household farming systems; Enhance forest protection through adopting advanced forest monitoring systems (Forest Watcher); Extend achievements and techniques in Cambodia and Greater Mekong Subregion by demonstration and sharing experiences.
Expected outputs: Formulation of community forestry management plan; Demarcation and patrol of community forestry boundary; Improvement of Forestry Administration triage nursery; Establishment of restoration and silviculture models; Establishment of village water supply system; Establishment of agroforestry and home garden farming systems; Installation and maintenance of forest watcher system and auxiliary facilities;
Assembly of integrated forest management technology and technical handbook; Dissemination of experience and technology.
Project background
Community forest management plans contribute to sustainable forest management and secure land tenure, while also improving people’s livelihoods. APFNet and Cambodia’s Forestry Administration implemented a project in 2017 to rehabilitate ecological services; increase the supply of forest products through the improvement of community forest management; and strengthen state-owned forest conservation to contribute to sustainable forest management in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The project helps the Damrey Chak Thlork Community Forest in Dokpor village, Krangdeivay Commune, Phnum Srouch District, Kampong Speu province, demonstrate improved community forest management through the development of restoration techniques and integrated management models.

Project featured topics 
Forest restoration models in community forestry 
A comprehensive management plan will be developed and implemented in all community forest areas (1,452 ha). This plan will combine modern techniques and traditional practices, provide an analysis of forest conditions and recommend specific actions to further improve management. Moreover, the project will showcase the restoration of different types of degraded forest serving different purposes. This differs from the previous APFNet project “Multifunctional forest restoration and management of degraded forest areas” by undertaking restoration according to different specific needs and in forests of various stages of degradation. In the new project, a 16 ha trial for three restoration models and one silvicultural treatment will be developed:

 ♦  Restoration of a deforested (open) area: this area is divided into four blocks (1 ha each) and is intended to be grown into a high value timber plantation with 6,000 seedlings, using tree species such as Pterocarpus macrocarpus, Dalbergia cochinchinensis, Dalbergia oliveri, and Tectona grandis.
 ♦  Restoration of a severely degraded forest: this area is intended for a firewood plantation using a single species, Cassia siamea. Dominant trees with straight trunks in the top forest layer will remain, while small trees, shrubs and weeds under remnant trees are cleared.
 ♦  Restoration of moderately degraded forest: vigorous high-value trees with straight trunks will remain while non-commercial or damaged trees that cannot be used for construction and are not useful for local people will be removed. This model incorporates multistory management using crops such as pepper and rosewood tree species such as Pterocarpus macrocarpus and Dalbergia cochinchinensis.
 ♦  Silvicultural treatment of dense forests: forests are tended, thinned and enrichment planted using timber species, such as Pterocarpus macrocarpus, Dalbergia cochinchinensis, and Diptercarpus species, to accelerate forest succession.

Figure 1: Restoration activities in open areas and in a moderately degraded forest. Photos: Forestry Administration
Value-added traditional agriculture and agroforestry practices for local livelihoods
In addition to a forest management plan and restoration models to improve forest ecosystems, providing more livelihood options to local communities can mitigate their dependence on the forest. Agroforestry farming systems and home gardens are suitable ways to improve local livelihoods since farmers already practice farming and many have home gardens. The main challenge is introducing new techniques. Current practices of planting only one type of crop or one tree species prevent farmers from using land to its full potential.     
The project will invite farmers who are interested and have land available to use sustainable agriculture and agroforestry best management practices. A portion of the farms will be used for multistory cropping using vegetables and other cash crops; and home gardens will be established in open areas and degraded secondary forests near farmers’ households. Cash crop trees, such as macadamia nut and Ziziphus mauritiana (Taiwan green jujube), will be imported from China. These crops and practices will provide immediate and long-term income for farmers.  
Strengthening state-owned forest conservation by establishing forest fire monitoring systems
State-owned forests account for a large share of Cambodian forests. These forests are facing many problems including forest fires, illegal logging and hunting, land encroachment, grazing, and pests and diseases. Effective monitoring over such large areas is not possible due to lack of funds and human resources. The state-owned forests, Khun Ream Forest Research Station in Siam Reap province and Tamao Zoo Forest in Takeo province (total of 4,368 ha), have been chosen as demonstration sites for new monitoring technologies. Two sets of the forest fire monitoring and prevention system, known as Forest Watcher, have been installed. The system is a reliable high-tech platform that uses cameras and infrared technology to monitor and detect forest fires. It can be left unattended, and does continuous monitoring and surveillance in real-time, covering a radius of 15 km within 30 minutes. The comparatively frequent “patrolling”, fast image recognition, positioning accuracy (to 100 m), all-weather monitoring and real-time data transmission will help protect the forests. Four months after installation of the Forest Watcher system, one case of forest fire was successfully detected and extinguished, preventing spread in Tamao Zoo Forest. The Forest Watcher detected smoke soon after fire ignition and provided clear and accurate information regarding location of the fire, to enable fire officials to take fast action.

Figure 2. Inauguration ceremony of forest watcher system in Tamao Zoo forest. Photos: APFNet
 Project documents
Project Proposal   Completion Report   Terminal Evaluation Report   Technical Handbook   

 News and related information
Managing Forest Ecosystems in an Integrated Manner in Cambodia

Community forestry development in Cambodia
Experiences From Restoration, Silvicultural Management and Installation of Forest Watcher System