Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary Moving Toward Sustainable Conservation

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary of the Eastern Highlands, established by a Royal Decree in 1993, covering a total land area of 250,000 hectares, about 80 percent of which is located in Rattanakiri province and the rest 20 percent in Mondulkiri province, is moving towards sustainable conservation under the REDD+ project.

Mr. Bou Vorsak, the CEO of NatureLife Cambodia, said that the organisation started the project in 2019 and has already registered it with VERRA, so it took them two years to write a project description to submit to the company to find a third party to audit how much carbon dioxide they can sell in the voluntary market. 

“According to our study, we think that in early 2024 or mid-2024 we will know the exact amount of carbon dioxide that we can sell. And I hope that we can get carbon credits in the early or mid-2024 too,” he said.

From the preliminary assessment, he continued, we estimated that in the first five years we could at least absorb about 576,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or some 115,000 tonnes per year from an area of more than 130,000 hectares in the entire Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary.

“This is an estimation at a minimum level, but at this stage, we are conducting a detailed study on the stockpile measurement, so we will be able to see the exact amount and the price which is currently between US$10 to US$15 per tonne on the voluntary carbon market,” he said. 

Regarding the benefits of the REDD + project, Mr. Bou Vorsak said so far, the conservation work at Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary needs about half a million dollars a year to manage and implement these conservation programmes, therefore when the carbon credits are collected, we will be able to maintain the financial sustainability of the project in the long run and we will also be able to expand the project activities for the sustainability of conservation.

H.E. Choup Paris, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Environment and National Redd+ Focal Person said at the global level, within the framework of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), recent Cambodian REDD+ projects have been acclaimed for standing out for their success in implementing projects and delivering carbon credits to the market. He also declared that Lomphat REDD+ project is the first REDD+ project of Rattanakiri province and requested support from all stakeholders to ensure its success.

Ms. Vaneska Litz, the Chief of Party for USAID Morodok Baitang said that USAID Morodok Baitang decided to support this project in recognition of NatureLife Cambodia/BirdLife’s long-standing commitment to the conservation of Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary, and assured participants that USAID Morodok Baitang is equally committed to conservation and future of the sanctuary.

The Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is an important site for the conservation of wildlife and bio-diversity resources, especially rare and endangered bird species, including the Giant Ibis, the national bird of Cambodia. The bird population is estimated to be around 300 in the world, and about 30, equivalent to more than 10 percent, are found in Cambodia.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press