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Adaptation to climate change through alternative livelihoods in community forestry

Submitted by Jim Noble 1st October 2009 23:55


Adaptation context

Poor, rural communities in Cambodia are highly vulnerable to the detrimental impacts of climate change due to their low adaptive capacity.

According to Cambodia's NAPA, the area of wet forest would decrease while moist forest would increase and dry forest would remain the same due to climate change. This change indicated that forest productivity and biodiversity might also change. High rate of deforestation may accelerate the loss of forest biodiversity and reduce forest productivity. Climate change and forest degradation in combination may result in soil erosion with increased precipitation. With projected climate conditions, Cambodia’s area of wet and dry forests may decrease. Due to the longer time perspectives of natural forests the autonomous capacity to adapt to changes in environmental conditions may be low. Mixed forests with a variety of species may be better able to cope.

Project overview

Adaptation to Climate Change through Alternative Livelihoods in Community Forestry project particularly focuses on building capacity within the community forestry sector through supporting effective participation of community forestry management committees and communal councils in newly established Cantonment level community forestry planning and co-ordination committees.

This project integrates the National Community Forestry Programme (NCFP) with the National Biodigester Programme (NBP), focusing on supporting poor, rural communities in three areas: local decision making processes regarding adaptation to climate change; adaptation to climate change through the sustainable management of community forests; and adaptation to climate change through the use of biodigesters integrated with home garden enterprises.

Women and children reliant upon community forests are the main beneficiaries of the project through a reduction in time spent collecting firewood and cooking to allow time for women to manage home garden enterprises and children to attend school.

The communities, regional and national government also benefit from the development of sustainably managed community forests, the effective participation in cantonment community forestry planning and coordination committees linked to the equivalent national body (NCFPCC).

Results of the project continue to inform the national biodigester programme and its potential development within the context of community forestry.

Main outputs

The project has five key results:

  • Effective local participation in Cantonment level community forestry planning and co-ordination committees (CCFPCCs) with the result indicators accordingly:
  • Effective participation in local planning processes;
  • Raising of issues of concern to the CCFPCCs;
  • Effective resolution of issues of concern;
  • Receiving relevant information from CCFPCCs