Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) funded the project launched by Cambodia’s National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) with the technical assistance from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Biodiversity Finance Initiative is the name of the project launced on June 20. This project is expected to be a solution for protecting and maintaining Cambodia’s forested ecosystems and natural resources which are critical importance for Cambodia’s development.
Tin Ponlok, the Secretary General of NCSD addressed the significant efforts in protecting the environment that have been made by the government of Cambodia over the past decade.
“The Royal Government has made significant reforms in environmental and natural resource management, increasing 61 protected areas by the end of 2018, including five Ramsar sites and three biodiversity conservation corridors covering the total area 7.5 million hectares, accounting for 41% of the country.
“Recently, the Royal Government established the Sok An Phnom Kulen Orchid Research and Conservation Center in Siem Reap, aiming to conserve research, educational publication, and other entertainments that can be a source of income for the preservation of natural resources and improve the livelihood of the local people,” said Ponlok.
In reponse to the urgent global need in seeking and gathering additional funding from possible sources, BIOFIN was initiated to achieve global and national biodiversity objectives.
Being aware of challenges in biodiversity conservation, Jessica Alvsilver, Senior Technical Advisor of UNDP believed BIOFIN is a solution orientated programme to tackle the issue.
“The whole idea with BIOFIN is to find solutions using economics and finances to achieve Cambodia’s biodiversity and development objectives. Cambodia has already started this process, however, a lot more needs to be done,” she said.
Cambodia scheduled to begin implementation of BIOFIN methodology shortly.
According to a press release by UNDP, Cambodia is now testing its innovative financing mechanisms including REDD+, Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES), and Conservation Trust Fund. Cambodia also plans to explore biodiversity financial solutions for sustainable development and to support the country in effectively achieving its national biodiversity and development objectives by 2050.
“There is a need for all stakeholders and all actors to contribute and participate in conserving biodiveristy. This is not for nature, this is for all humans, economic entities and governments. In other words, for the people of Cambodia,” Alvsilver added.