The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism in Cambodia

Year published: 19/12/2016

The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) Work Plan for Cambodia 2016–2018 has been developed and endorsed with the support and collaboration of the Royal Government of Cambodia and, in particular, the Forestry Administration (FA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

Approved in May 2016, the Cambodia FLRM Work Plan focuses on three main outputs:

  1. creating an enabling environment for forest and landscape restoration (FLR);
  2. mobilizing resources,  with action focused on public and private investment partnerships; and
  3. developing pilot actions for the implementation of FLR actions in micro-catchments areas.

Landscape restoration planning and actions commonly involve the crosscutting mandates of different institutions of the national legal frameworks. Consequently, developing an enabling environment for FLR remains crucial. The FLRM intends to support this through four main activities:

  1. a stock-taking study of relevant legal frameworks, roles and responsibilities of institutions involved in forests and landscape management; 
  2. improved inter-sectoral coordination and promotion of integrated landscape governance;
  3. assessment and identification of degraded forest landscapes and the identification of options for restoration in synergy with existing initiatives; and 
  4. dissemination of tools for monitoring implementation of FLR in Cambodia. 

Planned activities are expected to identify and fill gaps in the country’s integrated landscape-governance approach, which commonly involves many stakeholders. The Technical Working Group on Forest Reform (TWG-FR) – comprising representatives from development partners, relevant government institutions, and local and international NGOs – serves as the body for facilitating FLR dialogue, rights, jurisdictions and accountabilities in harmony with existing frameworks and by channeling the recommendations of the FLR governance.  

Another key output is resource mobilization, with actions focusing on public and private investments and partnerships, and concentrating on the existing architecture of forestry financing mechanisms in Cambodia. The sub-group on sustainable forest financing of the TWG-FR oversees the activities of this output that encompasses activities such as:

  • providing a comprehensive overview of existing financing instruments for FLR;
  • facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues and possible partnerships for the preparation and mobilization of innovative financing mechanism; and
  • creating an enabling environment for and building capacity within local institutions to facilitate their access to existing financing instruments for FLR, including GCF and GEF. 

In September 2016, FAO sent an initial mission to examine capacity development on adapting national funds to payments for ecosystem services (PES), including the REDD+ mechanism. The mission recommended the adoption of PES using the existing National Forestry Development Fund, adopted by sub-decree of the Royal Government of Cambodia no. 46 issued on 17 March 2016, under MAFF as the lead government entity, as well as using the Environmental and Social Funds, adopted on 22 November 2016 by Anukret no.238. The establishment of these two mechanisms lays significant foundations for financing forestry restoration and protection-related activities. In addition, the mission proposed concepts to mobilize private-sector investments in sustainable forestry, agroforestry, and sustainable agriculture with activities such as financial and institutional risk-mitigation mechanisms, studies on timber and non-timber forest products, and the agroforestry value chain as well as looking into potential financing needs and options for defining a Land Degradation Neutrality Fund investment case. 

Pilot actions for implementation of field FLR actions in micro-catchments where synergies exist have been planned as the third output of global umbrella support for FLRM. It is expected that the pilot action will be developed with existing projects currently implemented in Cambodia such as the project Strengthening the adaptive capacity and resilience of rural communities using micro watershed approaches to climate change and variability to attain sustainable food security in Cambodia (GCP/CMB/036/LDF). Two possible pilot areas have been identified in the work plan: the restoration of Steung Sen Watershed and Ecological and Livelihoods Landscape in Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear provinces, and the restoration of Steung Siem Reap Watershed, Ecological, Cultural and Ecotourism Landscape. Linking with the assessment and identification of degraded forest landscapes and identification of options for restoration, the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) will be carried out in the selected area early in 2017. At the country level, consultation with the government counterpart on the pilot area is being carried out to determine the number of criteria to be selected to match the resources available under FLRM allocations in the country. 

For further information please contact the FLRM team at: FO-FLR-Mechanism@fao.org

Ann Chansopheak