The Community Forestry Carbon Offset is the first REDD pilot project that involving 13 community forestry sites located in the Northwestern part of Oddar Meanchey province. The area was covered with 75% of evergreen, semi-evergreen (mix deciduous) and deciduous forest types but due to demand for timber and agricultural and settlement land, forest cover has declined at an average rate of 2.1% per annum. Because of the high deforestation rate, the area was selected for REDD pilot project. This Community Forestry Carbon Offset project was launched in 2008 by Forestry Administration with the collaboration of PACT Cambodia and Terra Global Capital. In addition, the project was also officially endorsed by the Prime Minister of Cambodia under Decision no 699 dated 26 May 2008.
The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) strongly supports the REDD mechanism and believes not only that REDD will help reduce GHG emission, but also contribute to alleviating poverty, improving forest governance, and enhancing sustainable forest management in the nation. Butler (2006) estimates potential earnings from REDD for Cambodia at between US$ 85 - 875 million depending on the extent of forest protected for REDD and that REDD can increase the country’s GDP by between 1.7% - 18.5%. The large tracks of forests in Cambodia make it a suitable country for REDD and indeed the country already participated in both Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank and United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD).