Carbon, biodiversity & ecosystem services:
exploring co-benefits


The Kingdom of Cambodia, located in Southeast Asia, spans more than 180 000 km2 and is home to more than 13 million people. Cambodia is considered a high forest cover country; in 2006 59% (107 000 km2) of the country was covered by forest. However, there are significant pressures on these forests. Between 2002 and 2006, the country lost over 3 500 km2 of forest. Cambodia became a partner country in the UN-REDD Programme in 2009, and is a country participant of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, headed by the World Bank.

Cambodia map
Biomass carbon, Community Forestry Areas, and Forest
Concessions (data on Forest Concessions and Community
Forestry Areas from the Forestry Administration Cambodia)

In May 2010, UNEP-WCMC, together with the Forestry Administration of Cambodia , undertook a carbon and co-benefits mapping exercise for Cambodia (see summary report . This collaborative work developed a new national scale carbon map, which was combined with existing datasets on biodiversity, Protected Areas, and other factors such as forest cover loss and land allocated to various management categories to explore co-benefits and other issues affecting climate change mitigation action in Cambodia.

Findings indicate that most of Cambodia’s terrestrial carbon stock occurs in areas that are also important for biodiversity conservation. Many of these areas (and significant amounts of carbon) have some form of protection status. The remaining carbon stocks fall under many different government-allocated land management categories, such as Forest Concessions, Community Fisheries Areas and Economic Land Concessions (see map). This highlights the broad range of stakeholders that are likely to influence how forest carbon will be managed in the future.