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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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) .