Mitsui & Co., Ltd., ("Mitsui") together with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and US-based nonprofit organization Conservation International Foundation ("CI"), signed an agreement to implement a project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas*1 emissions by protecting and conserving Cambodia's Prey Lang forest.
Prey Lang, located in the northeast of Cambodia along the west bank of the Mekong River, is the largest tropical lowland evergreen forest in Indochina. It is inhabited by many wild animals, including endangered species, and is also an important source of water for Cambodia. However, illegal logging, along with reclamation of land for farming by local communities, has resulted in progressive deforestation and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions that would normally be concentrated in the forests.
Utilizing the REDD+*2 scheme, a climate change mitigation approach recognized in the Paris Agreement*3, Mitsui will partner with the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and CI to support activities aimed at forest protection and conservation. These activities include reinforcing forest patrols to prevent illegal logging and providing local communities with alternative sources of livelihood to avoid reliance on logging. Mitsui also plans to register this project with the Joint Crediting Mechanism,*4 a scheme promoted by the Japanese government.
*1 Greenhouse gases: Carbon dioxide, methane and other gases which cause global warming.
*2 REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries): A scheme which provides economic incentives such as carbon credits through the mitigation of deforestation and degradation of forests in developing countries.
*3 Paris Agreement: International climate change policy post-2020. Enacted November 2016.
*4 Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM): A system promoted by the Japanese government aimed at reducing emissions. In countries that have signed JCM partnership agreements with the Japanese government, JCM facilitates the diffusion of advanced low carbon technologies and services to contribute to their sustainable development and reduce their carbon emissions. The countries then distribute the emission reductions among project members in the form of carbon credits. The JCM partnership document has been signed by 17 countries including Cambodia.