Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official: No bans on rosewood furniture, use must be reduced

Official: No bans on rosewood furniture, use must be reduced

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A policy forum on reducing the demand for rosewood furniture, hosted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its Green Future project on October 3. Heng Chivoan

Official: No bans on rosewood furniture, use must be reduced

A senior agriculture official has clarified that calls to reduce the use of rosewood in furniture will not mean a total ban but rather the adoption of techniques which will contribute to the conservation of the Kingdom’s forests, as the population continues to grow.

Nao Thuok, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was addressing an October 31 policy forum on reducing the demand for rosewood furniture, hosted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of its Green Future project.

“We want to reduce its use, rather than prohibit it. A few generations ago, the population was less than half what it is today, and we have to recognise that, by introducing sustainable practices. We are considering a policy of instructing cabinetmakers and joiners to use thinner, non-luxury hardwoods for the structure of furniture and then cover them with a thin veneer of luxury timber,” he said.

Ouk Sisovann, chief of party of Cambodia Green Future, noted that it is a five-year project which began in October 2019 and is funded by USAID.

He explained that the project aimed to provide Cambodians and civil society organisations with the skills to use evidence-based communication systems to drive positive changes in social attitudes and positive action towards biodiversity conservation, forest protection and sustainable natural resource management.

He added that the project focused on working with young people in Phnom Penh and two target areas: Prey Lang and the eastern landscape. With strategic indications on changing relationships and social attitudes, the project’s intervention is focusing on three actions. The first is a reduction in the felling of luxury timber for furniture. The second is to reduce the purchase and consumption of bush meat, with the final goal being to end the widespread dumping of garbage.

“This policy forum is part of Cambodia Green Future Project’s efforts to understand how we can better use evidence-based communication in conjunction with communication campaigns to change social attitudes,” he said.

USAID representative Craig Hart said that forests are an important part of ensuring sustainable economic growth, biodiversity, cultural heritage and living standards.

He added that the globe had a strong reliance on timber. Regardless of where people were found, the demand would be there. However, the global market for rosewood and other luxury hardwoods had grown to such an extent that it contributed to the loss of forests and healthy tree species in Cambodia.

“Our project recognises the role of youth in promoting and managing forests sustainably, protecting forests and the environment. That’s the big concept that we will be discussing,” he said.

He also said that as part of the project, he had visited many regions of the Kingdom, and noted that hardwood furniture was widely available.

“It is important to note that this operation is not about beautiful furniture, but about the sustainability of the forest. There need to be regulations in place that ensure that all of the trees which are planted are guaranteed sustainability,” he said.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of