Conflicts within the REDD+ Oddar Meanchey Community Forests, Cambodia

Different forms of forest conflicts occurred both within and between communities and powerful external actors, such as mining and economic land concession holders, the Cambodian military, illegal loggers and land speculators.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The Oddar Meanchey Community Forest REDD+ (OM CF REDD+) project was initiated in 2008 and implemented through a partnership between the Cambodian Forestry Administration (FA), Pact, Terra Global Capital (TGC) and several local actors from the village, commune, district, provincial, and national levels. The establishment of the OM CF REDD- project has followed a ‘mosaic’ methodology, in which 13 different Community Forests (CF) were linked together, covering in total 64,318ha of land. Several conflicts with different actors have arisen, surrounding the Community Forests being part of the REDD+ site [1]. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">First, the granting of forest land to private companies, via the Economic Land Concession framework (ELC) has caused strong conflicts with local forest users. ELCs, mainly established to implement industrial agro-projects, were granted in Oddar Meanchey without proper consultation, producing few benefits for locals while contributing to deforestation to make space for agricultural land [1]. <br/><br/>Second, growing military presence to increase security along the border to Thailand has also caused an increasing construction of roads within the forests; granting of forest land to soliders by the provincial authorities; as well as involved of soldiers in illegal activities such as illegal logging and hunting. This has produced violent clashes between the military and CF users, which are increasingly blocked to access the forest as well as to patrol and monitor the forest for the REDD+ project purposes [1].<br/><br/> Finally, conflicts have also been reported between the community institutions and local government, as cooperation between these institutions has been poor. Issues of benefit sharing might aggravate the conflicts further during the project implementation as community forestry leaders have different ideas about how REDD+ revenues should be invested in the community [1].<br/><br/>A series of measures have been proposed to mitigate these conflicts, including awareness raising, increased consultation of local stakeholders, and strengthening of local forest management structures, such as through strengthening the Community Forestry Network (CFN) [1].<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Conflicts within the REDD+ Oddar Meanchey Community Forests, Cambodia</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/cambodia">Cambodia</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Oddar Meanchey</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Several Community Forests across Oddar Meanchey (e.g. Samraong district)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Land acquisition conflicts<br /> Deforestation<br /> Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br /><a href='/commodity/carbon-offsets'>Carbon offsets</a><br /><a href='/commodity/timber'>Timber</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">According to agreements between the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and Terra Global Capital, at least 50 percent of the net income from the carbon credit sales needs to be allocated to local communities for local development projects. This corresponds to around 10 million USD available over a period of 30 years [1].</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Government Decision No. 699 illustrates that the FA retains ownership of forest carbon credits and plays the role of the carbon credit seller for the project. The Government Decision No. 699 states that revenues from carbon credit selling from the project will be used to (1) improve the forest quality, (2) provide maximum benefits to local communities who are participating in the project, and (3) study the new potential area for new REDD+ projects in Cambodia. The Technical Working Group on Forestry and Environment was nominated to channel payments during the first five years (Bradley, 2011).<br/><br/>The project encompasses 58 village communities in which 8,000 households live [2]<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>64,318</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>10,000,000 USD</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>8,000 households</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2008</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/pact'>Pact</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/united-states-of-america'><small>United States of America </small></a><br /><a href='/company/terra-global-capital'>Terra Global Capital <small>(TGC)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/united-states-of-america'><small>United States of America </small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF); Cambodian military; Technical Working Group on Forestry and Environment</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Community Forestry Network (CFN); The Monks Community Forestry Association (MCF) has played a key role in mobilising support for community forestry and REDD+ in Oddar Meanchey. With the guidance of a charismatic leader, the Venerable Bun Saluth, the MCF has been influential in gaining the trust and support of villagers for forest protection.<br/><br/>Children’s Development Association (CDA) is a local NGO based in Oddar Meanchey province that has been implementing community forestry projects since 2002.<br/><br/>The Community Forestry Network (CFN) was informally established in 2008 to represent all the CFs in Oddar Meanchey province. A representative from each of the 13 CF groups partakes in the network. The CFN plays an important role in resolving the key problems affecting the CFs, particularly conflicts over forest land use and the internal management of the CF groups.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>LATENT (no visible resistance)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Fishermen<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> Local ejos<br /> Local government/political parties<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Local scientists/professionals<br /> Religious groups</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) <br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts, Militarization and increased police presence<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Social exclusion and breakdown of structure and solidary of the local groups</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Repression<br /> Strengthening of participation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Yes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Community action has made important contributions to addressing and resolving forestry conflicts in Oddar Meanchey. This community mobilization has generally been led by CF leaders and the CFN Chief, and has resulted in important outcomes for forest protection and conflict resolution. Pact has supported the CFN through the provision of resources and capacity building, to allow regular meetings to take place and enhance the strength of the network.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Government Decision No. 699 illustrates that the FA retains ownership of for- est carbon credits and plays the role of the carbon credit seller for the project. The Government Decision No. 699 states that revenues from carbon credit selling from the project will be used to (1) improve the forest quality, (2) provide maximum ben- efits to local communities who are participating in the project, and (3) study the new potential area for new REDD+ projects in Cambodia. The FA agreed that at least 50 percent of the net income (after project expense) will flow to participating communi- ties in the project and the Technical Working Group on Forestry and Environment was nominated to channel payments during the first five years (Bradley, 2011).<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Yeang, D. (2012). Community Tenure Rights and REDD+: A Review of the Oddar Meanchey Community For- estry REDD+ Project in Cambodia. ASEAS - Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 5(2), 263-274.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.seas.at/aseas/5_2/ASEAS_5_2_A5.pdf " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Bradley, A., 2011, Review of Cambodia’s REDD readiness: Progress and challenges. Kanagawa, Japan: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://redd-database.iges.or.jp/redd/download/link?id=4" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Pasagaard, M. and Chea, L, 2013, Double inequity? The social dimensions of deforestation and forest protection in local communities in Northern Cambodia, Austrian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol 6(2), pp. 330-355<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [1] Conflict resolution in REDD+: An assessment in the Oddar Meanchey Community Forestry REDD+ Site, Cambodia<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.pactcambodia.org/Programs/FPCC/Lessons%20Learned%20Report_Conflict%20resolution%20in%20OM.pdf " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Economic land concessions (ELCs) as source of conflict in Oddar Meanchey<br/><a class="refanch small" href="www.drf.dfcentre.com/project/environmental-conflicts-and-poor-peoples%E2%80%99-livelihoods-case-study-redd-project-northwest-camb" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> [2] TERRA Global Capital on the Oddar Meanchey Community REDD Project, Cambodia<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.terraglobalcapital.com/oddar-meanchey-community-redd-project-cambodia" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Roads in the Community Forest, constructed by the military</strong> Source: http://www.pactcambodia.org/Programs/FPCC/Lessons%20Learned%20Report_Conflict%20resolution%20in%20OM.pdf<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/military_roads.png" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Forest clearance by the military</strong> Source: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/06/13/military-clearing-of-community-forests-in-oddar-meanchey-cambodia-photos/<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/od_P1020913.jpeg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Military bunker within the community forest</strong> Source: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/06/13/military-clearing-of-community-forests-in-oddar-meanchey-cambodia-photos/<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/od_P1020974.jpeg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Hao Phan, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, [email protected]</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/07/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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