Assessment of Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Phnom Tbeng Forest Based on Socio-Economic Surveys


Carbon emission reductions through reducing deforestation and forest degradation or REDD+ scheme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change could not be achieved without understanding the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. Until recently, only a handful of study has focused on such drivers. Cambodia experienced rapid deforestation and forest degradation despite growing international interests in protecting forests for carbon revenue generation. This paper was designed to assess livelihood of forest-dependent community and drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Cambodia. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect socio-economic data from 42 households living in Phnom Tbeng forest, where annual deforestation rate was about 2.4% between 2004 and 2009. Our results suggest that local people depend on forests for income generation, subsistence use and social identity. About 90% of the respondents believed that deforestation was resulted from illegal logging, slush and burn agricultural practices, land clearing for large plantation, land encroachment, firewood extraction, charcoal production and forest fire. As the population has increased rapidly and almost 100% of local people depend on fuelwood for cooking, fuelwood collection will continue to cause deforestation and forest degradation unless alternative sources of affordable energy are provided. Appropriate policy interventions should be proposed to reduce the drivers obtained in this study because if drivers cannot be reduced, it is not possible to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and related carbon emissions.

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Chan, S. and Sasaki, N. (2014) Assessment of Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Phnom Tbeng Forest Based on Socio-Economic Surveys. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1641-1653. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.517155.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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