PHNOM PENH, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Ministry of Environment on Tuesday partnered with conservationist group Wildlife Alliance to prepare the kingdom's largest REDD+ project in Southern Cardamom Mountain National Park and Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary, according to a joint statement.
REDD+ ((Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a U.N.-initiated program designed to mitigate climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries.
The Southern Cardamon Mountain REDD+ project will generate sustainable financial support to protect Cambodia's forests -- 500,000 hectares of the Cardamom Mountain Rainforest Landscape, which is one of the largest and most biodiverse rainforests still standing in Southeast Asia, the statement said.
"This demonstrates the Royal Government of Cambodia's commitment to the protection and conservation of natural resources in conjunction with livelihood improvement," it said.
Under the partnership, Cambodia will be able to sell carbon credits originating from the Southern Cardamoms landscape, the statement said, adding that the revenue will finance the long-term protection of the landscape and support sustainable local livelihoods and rural communities.
"REDD+ in Cardamoms landscape will be the third effort in establishing sustainable financing support for the protection and conservation of forests in Cambodia," Environment Minister Say Samal said.
Wildlife Alliance Chief Executive Officer and Founder Suwanna Gauntlett said it has been a long-term goal of Wildlife Alliance to secure sustainable funding for the protection of Asia's jewel.
"We're looking forward to working with the Ministry of Environment as well as the local communities for implementing this exciting project and ensuring the protection of the forests and wildlife in perpetuity," she said.
Wildlife Works Carbon, one of the world's leading carbon project developers, expressed that the REDD+ project in the Southern Cardamoms has the potential to be Asia's leading REDD+ given the global significance of the landscape.
"It will position Cambodia as a global leader in REDD+," said Brian Williams, director of Wildlife Works Carbon to Asia.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment is cooperating with Wildlife Conservation Society and Disney International in implementing REDD+ project in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, while working with NGO Conservation International in formulating REDD+ project in Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, the statement said.