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Forests of Cambodia

Cambodia’s 176,520 ㎢ of land is covered with 103,638㎢ of forested area, which is roughly around 58 percent of the whole land area. Cambodia possesses the largest area of primary forest in the Indo-China region, its forests consisting of 57 percent of deciduous forest, 19 percent of evergreen forest, and 7 percent of semi-evergreen forest.
The abundance of forests makes Cambodia a perfect biodiversity hotspot with various species of fauna and flora. This includes 2,308 plant species, 212 mammal species, 536 bird species, 176 reptile species, 850 freshwater fish species, and 435 marine fish species.


Forests in Cambodia play an important role in meeting the subsistence and income needs of many rural households. Up to 41 percent of rural households in forest areas derive between 20-50 percent of their total livelihood value from forests, and almost 15 percent of households derive more than half of their total livelihood value from forests.


Cambodia’s rich forests, however, have been suffering from deforestation and forest degradation mainly due to logging and industrial agricultural expansion. Primary rainforest in Cambodia, which covered 70 percent of the land in 1969, dropped to 31 percent in less than 40 years. Between 1990 and 2005, Cambodia lost around 25,000 ㎢ of forest due to mass logging of primary forest and the investment in large-scale agriculture and rubber plantation.


In an effort to respond to these issues, the Cambodian Government has developed comprehensive policy reforms and declared a logging moratorium, targeting to retain 60 percent of the forest cover in the country.