Cambodia is in the process of becoming a full-fledged member of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative, joining nine countries spanning across South and East Asia. The Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, in cooperation with IUCN Cambodia, organized a consultative meeting on 22 February 2013 with 16 different stakeholders to draft the Cambodian MFF National Strategy and Action Plan.
Mangroves for the Future is a partnership-based initiative for promoting investment in coastal ecosystems to facilitate sustainable development. It adopts mangroves as its flagship ecosystem in recognition of the important role that mangrove forests played in reducing the impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and the severe effect on coastal livelihoods caused by the degradation of mangroves.
Even though Cambodia was not stricken by the 2004 tsunami, it is vulnerable to climate-related hazards and other catastrophic events such as floods, windstorms and seawater intrusion. Currently, there are nine MFF member countries; namely Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
“Cambodia is trying to become the tenth MFF member in late 2013. It will reap significant benefits from MFF through knowledge-sharing, supporting coastal managers and communities to adopt and benefit from more integrated management of coastal resources and ecosystem processes, as well as the availability of small and medium grants to support local NGOs and community-based organizations to implement activities for addressing coastal issues,” said H.E. Dr VANN Monyneath, Chairman of the Executive Board for MFF Cambodia.
The Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, in cooperation with IUCN Cambodia, organized a consultative meeting at Cambodiana Hotel on 22 February 2013 with 16 different stakeholders from relevant ministries, coastal line departments, local and international non-governmental organizations and academia to integrate their technical inputs into draft versions of the MFF Cambodian National Strategy and Action Plan.
The MFF Action Plan will last from 2014 to 2016, and will aim to protect and conserve coastal biodiversity resources and improve coastal livelihoods of inhabitants dependent on these ecosystems. The discussion laid out five priority strategies; (1) building a knowledge base for coastal resource management; (2) promoting environmentally sustainable livelihoods; (3) building community resilience to climate change and natural disasters; (4) ecologically and socio-economically sound rehabilitation; and (5) national integrated coastal management programs to prevent biological and commercial extinction and to optimize the benefits derived from coastal and marine resources.
The National Strategy and Action Plan is expected to be finalized in another meeting to be organized during June 2013, in order for Cambodia to apply to become a full member of MFF.
By: LOU Vanny
For more information please contact:
Mr. KONG Kimsreng, Senior Programs Officer, IUCN Cambodia
Mr. LOU Vanny, Programme Officer, IUCN Cambodia
Ms. SAY Chenda, Communication Officer, IUCN Cambodia