Protect the Southern Cardamom Watershed in Cambodia
This "Ridge to Reef" REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation program developed by the UNFCC) project protects 497,000 hectares of coastal watershed in Cambodia.
The Southern Cardamom project contains 2000+ hectares of pristine mangrove forest and helps to protect and enhance a further 50,000+ hectares of mangroves (the largest contiguous mangrove forest ecosystem in the Gulf of Thailand) that directly surround the project boundary. Blue-carbon mangrove ecosystems are most effective when they are directly connected to a healthy watershed (more on that below).
- Home to myriad endangered species, like the Irrawaddy dolphin and Malaysian Sun Bear
- The project provides 200+ jobs, and education and healthcare benefits for 16,000+ people in the local community
The Southern Cardamom Project is designed to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, maintain biodiversity and create alternative livelihoods under the United Nations REDD+ scheme. The project is part of the Indo-Burma Hotspot, one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, and is a critical watershed for the Gulf of Thailand, with a mosaic of habitats from dense evergreen and pine forests on its ridge tops to lowland melaleuca wetlands, flooded grasslands, lakes and coastal mangroves in its lowlands.
These diverse habitats support at least 52 species of IUCN Threatened birds, mammals, and reptiles including the Siamese crocodile and one of Cambodia’s two viable populations of Asian elephant. The landscape has also been identified by the Government of Cambodia as an opportunity for tiger reintroduction.
A unique geographic setting
Wetland and marine environments are less vulnerable to damage when rivers upstream are healthy and protected.
This project protects 497,000 hectares of coastal watershed ecosystems, with 50,000 hectares of mangrove forest estuaries at their base.
The latest Science
Mangroves sequester 160% more carbon when located in a river estuary at the base of a healthy terrestrial forest.
This project increases the effectiveness of mangrove forests as blue carbon storage ecosystems.
The Southern Cardamom Project directly supports the livelihoods of 12 villages with 515 families. The majority of the jobs are community based eco-tourism and forest guards. Women hold 63% of the management positions of the project.
The longer-term success of this project is ensured through the creation of meaningful jobs that are reliant on the forest being protected. Wildlife Alliance played helped to develop eco-tourism opportunities. Yes! - you can go on guided tour with a ranger and see the impact this project is having in person:
REDD+ - aka "Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation" projects are some of the highest quality carbon credits available.
REDD+ creates permanent protection for existing old-growth forests that are under direct threat.
This is achieved though a 30 year sustainable development program that transitions the local economy to permanent forest protection.
Live in the bay and mangrove forest waterways of the project. These dolphins are highly intelligent and form "partnerships" with local fisherman.