Community Based Forest Management in Cambodia and Laos

Community Based Forest Management in Cambodia and Laos


This working document provides a comparison of community-based forest management (CBFM) in Cambodia and Laos. Some foundational factors distinguish the two countries, including governmental structure, population, ethnicities, and terrain. However, in both countries, a majority of the population lives in rural subsistence communities, with livelihoods often strongly dependent on forest use.

conclusions & takeaways

The paper points out key differences in CBFM between the two countries.  While CBFM activities emerged in both countries in the 1990s driven by NGOs and other international organizations and often integrated into village structures, there are key differences in implementation. One difference is that Laos has more advanced use of land-use planning and land allocation as part of the CBFM process. Another difference is in extension activities related to forestry - in Cambodia these activities are more fragmented and limited than in Laos, and often separated from other natural resource management extension. The paper calls for expansion of CBFM activities in both countries and provides examples of how to accomplish this, such as the use of benefit-sharing agreements.


Braeutigam, D. (2003); Community Based Forest Management in Cambodia and Laos: Frame conditions, selected examples and implications; Working Paper 03, MRC-GTZ Cooperation Programme.


  • GTZ - now Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Mekong River Commission for Sustainable Development