Cambodia relies predominantly on its rich biodiversity and other natural resources for its socio‐economic development and for most people's food, livelihoods, and well-being. In the past decades, high population growth and the increasing economic demands of this growing population have often led to the conversion of natural forests to agriculture, to land degradation and pollution caused by unsustainable agriculture and industries; they have led to habitat fragmentation from public works and urbanization; to the overharvesting and overexploitation of resources particularly in forests, freshwaters and marine and coastal areas. These pressures on biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services are often exacerbated by the impact of climate change and more frequent natural disasters.
Cambodia has taken a number of measures to reduce biodiversity loss, in particular, the designation of a wide network of protected areas. However, limited financial resources and capacities in general, combined with poor awareness of the value and vulnerability of ecosystems (of which the natural capital is a part) have not allowed for effective control of the drivers of biodiversity loss. This, of course, has detrimental consequences for the country‟s sustainable development.
In 1995, Cambodia acceded to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As part of its fulfillment of the obligations under this Convention, Cambodia adopted its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) in 2002, aiming to achieve "equitable economic prosperity and improved quality of life through sustainable use, protection and management of biological resources". The 2002 Strategy emphasizes capacity-building, community involvement, and intersectional cooperation.
Twelve years into the adoption of its NBSAP, Cambodia has noted progress in each of the 17 themes, under which 81 strategic objectives and associated indicators were identified, as well as 98 priority actions. Nevertheless, the overall impact of the NBSAP has been limited by inadequate human, financial and institutional capacities, combined with insufficient knowledge and awareness of the value of biodiversity, and inadequate integration of biodiversity into policies and programmes dealing with sustainable development and poverty reduction in the country.
In Decision X/2 (para (c)) adopted at its 10th meeting in 2010, the CBD Conference of the Parties urged Parties to review and, as appropriate, update and revise their NBSAPs in line with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted at that meeting, and with the guidance outlined in its decision IX/8. The Aichi Biodiversity Target 17 reiterated this request in stating that “by 2015, each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.”
Cambodia initiated its review process in July 2012 and completed it in December 2015 under the coordination of the General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP), the General Secretariat of National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), and the Ministry of Environment (MOE). In order to ensure a truly participatory approach in the review process that would lead to the full ownership of the updated NBSAP and an effective engagement in the implementation of the NBSAP, an inter-ministerial technical working group was invited to participate actively in the consultations. This group consisted of representatives of 9 ministries from other government entities, local communities and indigenous ethnic minorities, the civil society, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) each having a role and responsibilities in environmental management in Cambodia.
An assessment of the implementation of the 2002 NBSAP and a Biodiversity Status Report was carried out to take stock of the achievements derived from the implementation of the NBSAP, and to identify obstacles, opportunities, as well as the country‟s weaknesses and strengths in the implementation of the NBSAP. These findings constitute important elements to be taken into consideration in updating the NBSAP. In addition, laws, strategies, and plans relating to biodiversity and sustainable development adopted by Cambodia since 2002 were reviewed so as to ensure harmony, coherence, complementarity, and synergy between the updated NBSAP and all these approaches, strategies, and plans, and to align with the national development goals and priorities.
Vision and Mission
Cambodia's vision for biodiversity is that, through this updated NBSAP and in support of the National Strategic Development Plan, by 2050, Cambodia's biodiversity and its ecosystem services are valued, conserved, restored where necessary, wisely used, and managed so as to ensure equitable economic prosperity and improved quality of life for all in the country. The roadmap or mission for achieving this vision consists of using, protecting, and managing biodiversity for sustainable development in Cambodia. This implies that biodiversity issues and values are mainstreamed into national development and sectoral policies, plans, and programmes; that biodiversity, our natural capital, is protected by reducing the various direct and indirect pressures causing its loss or degradation, that it is used wisely so as to enhance the benefits derived from it to the people of Cambodia, particularly in rural areas; and that an enabling environment for the effective and efficient implementation of this mission is strengthened.
Framework strategic objectives and key actions
Cambodia adopted the following four overall strategic objectives for the realization of its NBSAP's vision and mission:
Strategic objective A: Identify, prepare inventory, monitor, and enhance awareness about genetic resources, species, habitats or ecosystems, and related ecosystem services that are important for sustainable development and poverty eradication in Cambodia, as a priority for conservation and sustainable use;
Strategic objective B: Identify and describe the direct and indirect factors and processes that are negatively impacting Cambodia's priority biodiversity components; and apply, as appropriate, preventive and corrective measures;
Strategic objective C: Maintain or strengthen measures that have a positive impact on biodiversity and thus enhance the benefits to all in Cambodia from biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, for equitable economic prosperity and improved quality of life;
Strategic objective D: Strengthen the enabling environment for the implementation of the strategy.
Cambodia - Country Profile: https://www.cbd.int/countries/profile/?country=kh