Community Forests - Cambodia

In Cambodia, as of today, large-scale reliable and official supply chains of sustainable biomass fuels for industrial use do not exist. More than two decades of strong economic growth, driven mostly by the garment industry (which represents 11% of the country’s GDP and 78% of merchandise export revenues), therefore comes at a high environmental cost: The widespread use of firewood in garment manufacturing (301,000 tonnes/year) has contributed to rapid deforestation and ecosystem degradation, making the garment sector the main contributor to climate change among the industrial sectors.

While the recent establishment of numerous large-scale rubber plantations is expected to provide a significant amount of firewood when they are replanted, this will not happen until 15 to 20 years from now, leaving a large gap of sustainable supply.

The Government of Cambodia aims to address this lack of supply, stating in the latest draft of the Environment and Natural Resources Code: “In cooperation with local communities, indigenous peoples, and technical partners, the ministry or institution responsible for managing the forests shall develop a legal instrument on establishing mechanisms for certifying and financially and fiscally incentivizing all licensed producers of sustainable charcoal and firewood.”


With support from UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP), the French NGO GERES has worked with the Government of Cambodia, major garment retailer H&M and Cambodia Climate Change Alliance to set up a financing model for community forestry. The aim is to fill the gap in sustainable fuel supply, partly by providing financing for plantation as well as additional briquetting of biomass residues, partly by designing a supply chain model with the textile industry to secure off-take.

Click to read the full project brief.



Financial model - An excel sheet with the calculations underpinning the framework developed in the project.
20 JANUARY 2022