Forest Degradation in Cambodia: An Assessment of Monitoring Options in the Central Cardamom Protected Forest
This report examines options for developing a forest carbon monitoring system for Cambodia. It is one of three such Asia studies carried out in 2012, the others being for Vietnam and Laos.
A team carried out an assessment in Cambodia’s Central Cardamom Protected Forest. In this mountainous region, elevations very from 200 meters to more than 1,700 meters and vegetation ranges from evergreen forests at higher elevations to deciduous forests in drier areas of the monsoonal rainshadow.
It developed a three-step process to assess monitoring options: 1) define a biomass reference for monitoring in each forest strata; 2) assess the drivers of forest degradation; and 3) identify and assess monitoring approaches based on defined biomass change thresholds.
The objective is to estimate the loss of at least 30 percent of above-ground biomass in the protected forest. The team recommended analyzing remotely sensed imagery to measure the amount and location of canopy disturbance in the study area at 2-4 year intervals. Two types of ground-based reference data should be collected: forest inventory plot data and degradation activity data.
The report also recommended local staff be trained to implement and evaluate the monitoring system.