28 Jan 2020
Survey, Mapping & Spatial Planning
Gender, Community & Inclusion
Project & Facility Management
Posted28 Jan 2020
The Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) Project with partner organizations in Cambodia will pilot methodology to recognize customary tenure of communities in Protected Areas (PA). The results will be used for the continuing advocacy for the Environmental Code, with the intention of revisions of the Protected Area Law and Forestry Law.
A group from the project team visited the pilot sites develop a deeper connection with project beneficiaries and more grounded position for provided strategic advice on pilot implementation and its impact to policy development.
Consultations were had with the community and implementing partners, included Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Community Empowerment and Development Team (CEDT), and local authorities. The first leg of the field visit was in Preah Vihear Province to look at the pilot implementation that the WCS document and zone in a Community Protected Area (CPA) in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) and support the establishment of a CPA Federation (CPAF) in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary (KPWS). The second pilot is in Kampong Thom Province and will support the establishment of collaborative management (CM) in the Protected Area (PA) implemented by CEDT.
The activities in Cambodia aim to help institutionalise guidelines as prepared during MRLG Phase I and make recommendations for enhancement. This pilot will strengthen the process by enhancing documentation of the customary tenure rights of the community and better include gender considerations.
The documentation and zoning process are expected to help build the capacity of the communities to manage their Community Protect Areas (CPAs), with three out of four having established management committees to organize community patrolling.
At an institutional level, the Ministry of Environment is taking a holistic approach to Protected Areas by establishing a Community Protected Areas Federation at provincial and regional levels. This will be technically supported by WCS. A lack of resources and the statute to formalize the CPAF are the main challenges to be faced. The discussions going forward on the statute will be based on issues of funding, illegal encroachment, internal responsibilities, awareness raising on legal parameters of CPA, and development of alternative livelihood options.
The initial support of MRLG for this work is for 18 months targeting policy and practice change to improve recognition of customary tenure of communities in PAs. See the MRLG website for more information: www.mrlg.org