Biodiversity economics and conservation merged in training program for government officers in Cambodia

Cambodia Training program Oct2018

Cambodia Training for Facilitators, October 2018

Aiming to link the seemingly-clashing concepts of economic biodiversity-based value chains and biodiversity conservation, the Biodiversity-based Products (BBP) as an Economic Source for the Improvement of Livelihoods and Biodiversity Protection project organized a three-day training for facilitators in Hotel Steung Siem Reap in Siem Reap City, Cambodia.

The event, which was conducted from 3 to 5 October 2018, gathered representatives from the Ministry of Environment (MOE), specifically from the General Secretariat for the National Council for Sustainable Development (GSSD), and the General Directorate of Local Community (GDLC) as well as participants from the Provincial Department of Environment (PDOE) and the Phnom Kulen National Park Management team. A Deputy Commune Chief was also in attendance.

The value chain expert invited to lead the training, Ms. Rita Pilarca, focused on biodiversity value chain development. The activities designed for the event aimed for the local government partners’ understanding of the basic concepts of biodiversity value chains, and the basic functions and actors in a biodiversity value chain and end markets for the biodiversity-based products.

Different aspects along a value chain were highlighted, such as value chain upgrading strategies and implementation plan; the importance of business linkages and improving the business environment through regulations and policies; and monitoring the biodiversity value chain.

The BBP project in Cambodia focuses on the development of two value chains — black ginger, and vine or climbing fern handicraft. During the training, the participants were divided into two groups: black ginger group and vine handicraft group. Each group had to use their respective value chains for the training exercises.


Phnom Kulen officer

Deputy Director of the Ranger Office of Phnom Kulen National Park Suos Sakhann (middle),

with Value Chain Expert Ms. Rita Pilarca (left), and BBP Cambodia Project Coordinator Ms. Moniratana Mao (right)

Suos Sakhann, Deputy Director of the Ranger Office of Phnom Kulen National Park, cited that the “three-day training is a very good mechanism to provide knowledge and skills on biodiversity value chains and market linkages for our government team at the ministry, provincial department, and PKNP levels in the environment sector to carry forward the implementation of the BBP project.” He emphasised the continuous support to the biodiversity-based value chains, “as the project already helped to establish market linkages for the community people in the Phnom Kulen National Park, we commit that after the project finish, we will continue to support the local communities to carry on these value chain activities as well as expanding this strategy to other villages in the PKNP areas.”

Biodiversity-based value chains aim at supporting local communities in the buffer zone of protected areas to sustainably generate income from natural products, while supporting the rich and important biodiversity of the Phnom Kulen National Park. The government sees the BBP Project as a pilot project that enables the Cambodian MOE to draw upon experiences and lessons learned on the biodiversity based value chain for contribution to the biodiversity policy development and poverty reduction.