Land degradation is an important issue for Cambodia as it can severely influence populations' livelihood by restricting people from vital ecosystem services (including food and water) and increasing the risk of poverty. However, there are mitigation and adaptation measures in place. Among those, land-based mitigation options rank among the most cost-effective opportunities to sequester carbon emissions.
Therefore, within the framework of the project "Agroecology and Safe food System Transitions in South-East Asia and Fonds français pour l'environnement mondial" (ASSET/FFEM[RP1] ), SmartAgro, CIRAD and Swisscontact proposed to implement a pilot project, called DEI MEAS (golden soil in Khmer language) to support the transition and bridge the financing gap by incentivizing smallholder farmers already in the first year of transition to foster the uptake of agroecological practices. Dei Meas will be under the steering of the Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM). DeiMeas is supported by ASSET/FFEM, ISA and seeks other support.
This initiative aims to i) incentivize smallholder farmers transition toward agroecological (AE) practices, ii) institutionalize the MetKasekor model within the PDAFFs towards the transition, iii) empower the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in identifying farmers, providing support to them during their transition, monitoring changes of practices and validating rewards, iv) quantify and verify the ecological impacts and co-benefits of this transition, in order v) recognize smallholder farmers as contributors of natural resources conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Dei Meas aims to be institutionalized within DALRM, and functions as a product of the government that effectively contributes to the RGC’s National Action Programme (NAP) (2018-2027), National Strategic Plan on Green Growth (2013-2030), National Forest Program (2010-2029), White Paper on Land (as of August 2015), and National Strategic Plan in Response to Climate Change (2014-2023) and commitments to UN’s 3 Rio Conventions, including Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).