As designed, CAMPAS is expected to provide biodiversity benefits at both national and global scale. The project demonstration area is situated in a region of high biodiversity and holding a number of globally endangered species (Table 3). At the demonstration level, the project proposes to increase the connectivity of sustaining habitats within the landscape to help maintain viable populations of these species. At the national scale, project demonstration activities are designed for upscale to the national level. Further at the national scale, the project proposed to enhance the management effectiveness of protected areas, increase inter-sectoral collaboration for conservation management, and augment carbon sequestration.
At a global scale, the project alternative will deliver stronger and unified—through increased inter-sectoral coordination and conservation effectiveness—national strategic goals on biodiversity conservation that will enable more effective protected area governance, and therefore conservation of globally endangered species in Cambodia. At the time of writing, the state of affairs is a continuous and accelerating decrease of biodiversity in protected areas and conservation landscapes. This is exacerbated by land conversion and related habitat fragmentation, which further diminishes the viability of migratory species and large-ranging species of larger predators, raptors, and their associated prey. By strengthening biodiversity and conservation management of protected areas and integrated land-use planning for conservation and development purposes, the alternative project scenario will ensure a reduction of conservation transgressions, conflicting land-use and habitat conversion, and promote habitat connectivity within conservation landscapes. Altogether the alternative project scenario will provide the enabling environment for sustainable populations of globally endangered species and their associated habitats. Further, current levels of forest degradation and deforestation continue to add to the unrelenting increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which the project’s proposed alternative will help to ameliorate by ensuring increased carbon retainment and absorption through establishing better forest protection and management measures. The project will strengthen effectiveness of forest governance and stakeholders’ involvement in conservation, restoration, and management of forest habitats.
At the national level, the project alternative seeks a scenario where there is an increase in the effectiveness of inter-sectoral coordination for biodiversity conservation and protected area management. As opposed to the baseline/ current state of conservation affairs, the project alternative will establish effective inter-sectoral coordination and stronger enforcement and monitoring of protected area regulations. The alternative proposes to reverse the present state of reduced biodiversity and ecosystems services due to poor management, deficient funding, and impact from land conversion and habitat fragmentation. Through its delivery, the project will improve the present state of biodiversity and conservation affairs by increasing national and international stakeholder consultation to strengthen biodiversity security in protected area landscapes, increase knowledge and skills for protected area management, establish forest monitoring systems for community managed areas inside and outside protected areas, enhance forest cover and sustainability of forests for carbon stock protection and sequestration, and strengthen protected area connectivity within greater conservation landscapes. Appendix 3 presents a matrix of project incremental costs.
The sustainability of the CAMPAS is built into its two outcomes, which together will enhance Cambodia’s protected area management effectiveness, increase forest carbon stock sequestration, and increase inter-sectoral collaboration for conservation management. CAMPAS Outcome 1; Strengthened national vision and support for landscape-based protected area and forest management will fortify the national foundation governing protected areas and national forests. This will help establish sustainable mechanisms through which successful governance can take place on the basis of project outputs. In particular, output one will deliver inter-sectoral governance into biodiversity conservation and protected area management, inclusive of establishing and maintaining forest connectivity across conservation landscapes. Outcome activities will improve leadership dialogue to support effective inter-sectoral communications to help rationalize the protected area system; defining a coherent national biodiversity vision and management plan for protected areas. Further, this first outcome will deliver improved national uptake of protected area management goals to maintain biodiversity and fight transgressions across large protected area landscapes, inclusive of integrated landscape management systems in place, together with law enforcement and monitoring systems supported by a national communications campaign to increase awareness and understanding on biodiversity and ecosystems services.
CAMPAS Outcome 2; Integrated landscape management to safeguard forests, biodiversity, and carbon stocks in the Eastern Plains Landscape will result in demonstration of improved mechanisms to integrate biodiversity conservation with carbon stock retention in protected and production lands, inclusive of planning for alternative development and conservation scenarios within a ‘Mondulkiri Landscape Plan’, and defining sustainable financial mechanisms for protected areas and forests within the landscape. This, in itself would greatly add to the long-term sustainability of project alternatives, firstly within the demonstration area, and secondly throughout Cambodia as piloted results inform policy.
Specifically, CAMPAS’ outcomes will continue beyond the project termination through the national mainstreaming and adoption of a protected area vision, harmonizing efforts between the main conservation agencies, and between their conservation efforts and development plans in conservation landscapes. Further protected area governance will have been strengthened to maintain leadership dialogue amongst stakeholder agencies to advance coordination for a more effective protected area system that includes connectivity within larger landscapes. The national strategic management plan for protected areas will establish a common standing for protected area planning, implementation, monitoring, financing and inter-sectoral coordination to mainstream biodiversity conservation within a mosaic of conservation and development purposes within larger landscapes.
Institutional, governance, technical and financial sustainability will be established through the project for the Eastern Plains Landscape, specifically through long term benefits gained from partnership building with other related national as well as provincial government agencies beyond the main agencies, by developing a transparent national basis for law enforcement, integration of conservation with investments in income generating programs of other major projects, and enhanced staff capacity in new conservation and sustainable development mechanisms.
The close involvement of national government agencies concerned with conservation governance in the development and implementation of CAMPAS’ promises great potential for future incorporation of the project’s approaches into on-going planning and strategies at the national and provincial levels. The MoE’s and MAFF’s ownership of the project is critical to ensuring the sustainability of the project’s interventions beyond the project lifetime. The project was developed in close collaboration between government leaders from the General Department of Administration for Nature Protection (MoE) and the Forestry Administration (MAFF) therefore ensuring ownership of the project’s proposed outcomes and activities to attain these. Additionally, it is expected that the strengthening of capacities among key government stakeholders will enable continued mainstreaming of climate considerations into sectoral planning and decision-making. Government officials from GDANCP and FA will guide project implementation to further strengthen within-country capacity to facilitate the development and adoption of effective biodiversity and forest carbon stock conservation measures across Cambodia. In its implementation, the project will place significant emphasis on capacitating national consultants, thus contributing to the sustainability of project interventions. Further, together, MOE, MAFF and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction are working closer together since beginning of 2014, with the first result of such collaboration being and inter-ministerial proclamation, aiming to amend the management of economic land concessions (ELCs) to better protect local community interests. CAMPAS will be able to benefit of this improved Ministerial coordination, and help advance its mandate at standing protected areas within the Eastern Plains Landscape.