Project lists

Multi-Functional Forest Restoration and Management of Degraded Forest Areas in Cambodia
25 Feb 2020     

Multi-function forest restoration and management of degraded forest areas 



Project title:  Multi-function forest restoration and management of degraded forest areas   [project ID: 2011P4/KHM]

Supervisory agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Executing agency:   The Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development

Budget in USD (total / APFNet grant): 441,830/386,570

Kick-off date & duration: 12/2011-12/2014

Target economy: Cambodia

Site Location: Siem Reap and Kampong Thom province


- To restore a degraded forest of protected forest in Koh Kong province for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation of a protected forest;

- To enhance the restoration of a community forest in Siem Reap province for production of timber and NTFPs as a means to improve livelihood of local community.

Expected outputs:

- Community nursery established in each pilot site;

- Models of forest restoration plots established in each pilot site ;

- Knowledge and experience on multi-functional forest restoration published and disseminated to relevant stakeholders and general public.


Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research : Dr. Sokh Heng (

APFNet: Pak Sngoun Pisey (; Sun Weina ( )



Seeing that the goal of community forestry (CF) is aligned with the goals of APFNet, that is to help rehabilitate forests in the region, APFNet in collaboration with the Forestry Administration of Cambodia (FA), has funded this project. The overarching aim is to rehabilitate the degraded forests on the project sites and transform them into multi-functional healthy forests well stocked with high-value timber (HVT) species and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Furthermore, the project sites should become a recognized national model on forest rehabilitation and rural livelihood improvement. The project was conducted in two community forests, Prey Kbal Tik CF located in Tbeng Lech village; and another is O Soam CF located in Kampong Thom province. The two communities had different visions APFNet and FA strived to support:


O Soam CF: A forest comprised of large diameter high-value timber species that support construction needs, with abundant NTFPs and creeks with fishes that support the livelihoods of the community.


Tbeng Lech CF: The forest is recovered and the biodiversity restored so it can provide forest products for household use, income generation and support the ecotrouism industry of the community.


Restoration for Multi-Functional Forests tailored for each community

Previously to increase forest cover, the CFMC members and some villagers involved in tree planting in the CF applied traditional techniques to improve forest health and forest cover in the CF area. However, that method failed to enable the forest to regrow fast and well enough to decrease the level of degradation substantially. As a result, there was a need for new techniques to fully achieve this goal. Thus, from 2011-2014 with the support of the project, a forest restoration plan was produced to guide local communities on where and how to restore the forests. Some parts of the community forests do not require planting, but natural regeneration will be a sufficient method of bringing back the forests.  New techniques, such as silviculture, enrichment planting, assisted natural regeneration and agroforestry were applied in the two target CFs. 


The major restoration activity is the reforestation of a total area of 50 ha (30 ha in O Soam and 20 ha in Tbeng Lech) through enrichment planting with 15,718 and 6,879 seedlings of priority species respectively, which were identified by communities. This includes thousands of species, some of the most important being rattan, bamboo, fruit trees, and particularly HVT.


Enrichment planting was identified as an appropriate restoration tool in the two CFs because it will not only to achieve an increase in forest cover, but also to support the CF members in the future. In the future these planted species will provide construction material, poles for sale, food and more. These NTFPs come in all shapes and sizes. For example, Mr. Chhin Sath, a CF member in O Soam collects mushrooms, wild fruits, fuel woods and spiders to sell to a local dealer from which he can earn about USD 75 per season.image.pngimage.png












Figure 1. Community members plant rattan in the restoration plot (left); edible spiders collected by local community (right)


Additionally, four one-hectare areas of degraded forests in each CF, a total 8 plots, were set aside for the testing of new forest restoration models, two in the thinned area and two in the unthinned area. Twenty seedlings were tagged for collecting data on height, DBH etc four times in total, attempting to compare the results from treated and non-treated plots. This will help CFs to keep only the significant and most successful trees and later on focus on planting the tree species they want. 


Seedling Propagation

Moreover, a community nursery and affiliated facilities have been established at each CF, which did not exist at the two CFs before the project intervention. With the nursery in place, the two CFs did not only supply seedlings for their own needs, but are also able to act as a supplier to for the region. For instance, O Soam nursery has been contracted to supply 3,600 seedlings of six species (four of them are fruit trees) for a local FA in 2015. It is anticipated that such a contract will be made every year considering the increasing need for tree planting by the local FA and NGOs.  Additionally, representatives of the communities and the local FA increase their capacity through learning seedling production and forest rehabilitation techniques, namely skills like seed collection, seed pre-treatment, and preparation of potting mixes. 


It can be proudly said that the two CFs have become a hub for different visitors (CF members, university students, local and international participants) to come visit their sites to learn about the different restoration models, including techniques for the restoration of community forests. In the future the local communities at the two CFs will be key players to spread knowledge about forest restoration as already during the project implementation they were invited to share their experience at different events throughout the country.














Figure 2: Preparation of seedlings in the nursery and production of seedlings




O Soam Forest in Kampong Thom Province