Community Tenure Rights and REDD: A Review of the Oddar Meanchey Community Forestry REDD Project in Cambodia

Donal Yeang  

ASEAS - Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 5(2), 263-274 

Tenure rights over land, forest, and carbon have become a contentious issue within REDD implementation across the tropics because local communities could be excluded from REDD benefits if land tenure or use and access rights are not clear. This study aims to understand and assess tenure arrangements under the fi rst REDD demonstration project in Cambodia, the Oddar Meanchey Community Forestry REDD Project. In particular, the study explores the following questions: (1) How are tenure rights arranged in the Oddar Meanchey REDD Project? (2) Does the tenure regime recognise the rights of local communities to their land and its associated resources? (3) What kind of institutions are put in place to support tenure rights of local communities in the project? The author conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and complemented the analysis by participant observation and a review of policy documents and secondary literature. The major finding of this study is that the local communities in the project are still given rights to use and access forest resources, although carbon rights belong to the government. While the government retains ownership over carbon credits, it agreed that at least 50 percent of the net revenue from the sale of carbon credits will flow to participating communities.

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