While around 68 percent of Cambodian rural households rely their livelihood on forest resources, the government and development partners are working hard to promote community-based enterprises to both preserve the resources and generate income from non-timber forest products.
The success of the joint endeavour was shared during the second National Forum on Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) organised yesterday here in Phnom Penh, and packed in a press release issued later on the same day.
Addressing the forum, Deputy Secretary General of National Council for Sustainable Development of Ministry of Environment H.E. E Vutha underlined that the achievement was guided by the Cambodia's national forest programme 2010-2029.
The programme aims at increasing employment, being a national objective, through sustainable forest based activities, which include collecting and processing non-timber forest products using efficient methods and technology � increasing the value-chain, he was quoted as said in the press release.
It also supports development of viable small and medium scale rural enterprises that add value to forest products making direct contribution toward self-sustained community forest management model, he added.
The Royal Government of Cambodia in cooperation with NTFP-EP as well as international and local NGO partners through funding support from Netherlands Committee IUCN, SDC and ADB has supported the development of over 60 community-based enterprises in Kratie, Stung Treng, Monuldiri, Ratanakiri, Preah Vihear, Koh Kong and Siem Reap provinces.
Those established non-timber forest producers are not only able to promote the economic interst among their communities, but can also focus on protecting community members against risks or eventual economic shocks by creating informal social protection services such as pooling financial resources in saving and credit funds.
Quoted in the same source, Ms. Femy Pinto, Executive Director of NTFP-EP Asia highlighted that, while developing community-run enterprises for livelihoods, an understanding of market plays a significant role in ensuring success.
Lessons learned from the projects suggest that community enterprise models should be based on integrating value chain to reach the end consumer through a multi-stakeholder approach or by linking enterprises to the value chains of larger enterprises, she added.
Thanks to the success reflected, the team is looking into an effort to scale up the non-timber production and increasing entrepreneurship, and the discussion from NTFP national forum attended by nearly 200 stakeholders in forest sector will grease the commitment.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press