Cambodia’s Medicine Policy

The first National Medicines Policy for the Kingdom of Cambodia was prepared in 1995 and the second Medicine Policy was prepared and approved in 2010. The Pharmaceutical Sector Strategic Plan 2005-2010 provided comprehensive direction for strengthening the pharmaceutical sector and guidelines for Good Pharmacy Practice were endorsed by the Ministry of Health in 2006. A new Strategic Plan has been developed by the Ministry of Health for Period 2013-2018. It is important that the Medicines Policy (prepared in 2010) should always align with the National Health Strategic Plan.

Issue of equitable access to good quality, safety and efficacious medicines and their rational use remain the focus of the policy. The revised Medicines Policy is intended to ensure a reliable supply of quality medicine for all citizens of Cambodia and support the health Strategic Plan 2008-2015. The general purpose of national medicines policy is to ensure:

  • Access: equitable availability and affordability of essential medicines
  • Quality: the quality, safety and efficacy of all medicines
  • Rational use: the promotion of therapeutically sound and cost effective use of medicines by health professional and consumers.

The medicines regulatory authority in the Ministry of Health is the government agency responsible for pharmaceutical control in Cambodia and is the bodies entrusted to coordinate and supervise the implementation of Medicines Policy.

To help maintain and improve the health of all the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia, with a focus on remote area and the poor segment of the population, through access to and rational use of affordable, quality, safe and effective medicines.

The Mission of Medicine Policy is to ensure that quality, safe and effective medicines are always available and affordable to the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia throughout the nation’s health care system by:

  • Strengthening and implementing regulations and guidelines for pharmaceutical products including manufacture, sale, import, export and distribution.
  • Establishing and implementing standards for practice of training and education.

Key objectives
Key objectives of this Policy are to provide direction for:

  • The development and maintenance of appropriated medicine legislation and regulations to ensure the full implementation of Medicine Policy
  • The establishment and maintenance of improved quality control and registration procedures
  • Ensuring a significant allocation in health budget and development of relevant financing policy to maintain the budget for purchase of essential medicines and maintenance of whole essential medicines system
  • Development and maintenance of appropriate work force
  • The rational and evidence-based selection of essential medicines
  • The improvement of medicine procurement procedures
  • Strengthened medicine management procedures and practices
  • Strengthened medicine distribution and logistics
  • Strengthened promotion of the quality use of medicines across all sectors of the health services
  • The maintenance of information and continuing education program to improve medicine use.
  • Enhanced management capacity and practice at all levels.

Department of Drug and Food
Ministry of Health
Lot No 80, Street 289, Sangkat Boeung Kak 2, Khan Toul Kork Phnom Penh, Cambodia 12150
Tel.: 023-881 408
Fax: 023-724 137


Department of Drug and Food, Ministry of Health Cambodia. Pharmaceutical Sector Strategic Plan 2013-2018. [Accessed on 12 August 2021]. Available at

Traditional Medicine Policy of the Kingdom of Cambodia

In the year 1997, the National Center of Traditional Medicine was established by Sub-decree No. 67 ANKr.BK, under the Ministry of Health Cambodia. 13 years later, in the 2010, with the support by WHO-WPRO, the first Traditional Medicine Policy was adopted by the Ministry of Health. The implementing agency in Cambodia is the National Center of Traditional Medicine, the Ministry of Health Cambodia. The Traditional Medicine Strategic Plan 2012-2020 was issued in 2012, as the research on T&CM is conducted in universities level.

The Policy stated that Traditional Medicine shall be an important component of the healthcare system in the Kingdom of Cambodia. It will co-exist with modern medicine and contribute towards enhancing the living conditions of all Cambodians.

The Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia will facilitate the implementation of this Traditional Medicine Policy and will put in place provisions that would promote the quality, safety and effectiveness of Traditional Medicine practices and products. The Traditional Medicine Policy together with the National Policy on Drugs aim to complement the needs in the communities in terms of disease prevention and treatment based on evidence.

Traditional Medicine forms an important part in prevention, promotion, and treatment aspects of health care in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Because of its long history, many of the population are attached to their own folklore and rely on traditional methods to meet their health care needs. This is especially the case for people who live in rural and remote areas who use medicines available in the localities for the prevention or cure of common diseases, disorders and conditions. The rich tropical biodiversity of Kingdom of Cambodia is a valuable source for natural health products and the Royal Government will promote its full potential.

The Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia will support Traditional Medicine, identify mechanisms to implement the policy with periodical evaluation and integrate traditional medicine into the national health system.

To help maintain and improve the health of all the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia, with a focus on remote areas and the poorer segment of the population, through access to and rational use of affordable, quality, safe and effective Traditional Medicine practices and products.

To ensure that quality, safe and effective Traditional Medicine practices and products are made available to the people through the nation’s health care system.          

Traditional Medicine Policy has the following objectives:

1. Promote traditional medicine profession for the benefits of the health sector, society and economy as a whole by putting emphasis on:

  • Development of additional legislations;
  • Provisions and code of ethics
  • Rational use of traditional medicine Integration of traditional medicine into the national health care system

2. Implement formal and non-formal trainings to respond to the progress made in the country as well as in the region.

3. Pay attention to raw materials and products:

  • Conserve and develop natural resources and biodiversities in the country to ensure potential and sustainability of the needs for raw materials and traditional medicine products;
  • Regulate the production and distribution of traditional medicine products to ensure quality, effectiveness and safety according to the standards and based on scientific basis.

4. Support and motivate research, information dissemination and national and international cooperation.

5. Undertake periodical monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of this policy.

Special Note: 
This Traditional Medicine Policy does not encourage people or promote the use of animal or animal parts as raw materials for TM products; it is focus on medicinal plants, herbs and minerals.

Regulatory status of herbal medicines

Legislation on herbal medicines including the manufacture, import, expert of “traditional medicine” as well as the establishments that sell pharmaceuticals has been established since 1998.

The manufacturing of herbal medicine required to follow declaration issued by the MoH, however no such declaration has yet been issued.

Any TM products must be registered before sold. The criterias for registration including a certificate of analysis (to search for heavy metals, microorganisms, chemical substances, total ash and pesticides). However, many traditional medicines available in the market being sold without registration.

There were about 474 herbal medicines imported from neighbouring countries except for Yang Chun has been registered at the end of 2017. The MoH considers this to be a problem because local TM products do not meet registration requirements and local TM drug makers lack knowledge of how to prepare the documents required by the MoH.

Most of the herbal products are sold as non-prescription medicines, self-medication or OTC medicines in outlets other than pharmacies, in special outlets and by licensed practitioners. There are not enough restrictions on selling herbal products as stated in Declaration No. 570 (Articles 3, 4, 9, 13 and 15).

Practices, providers, education and health insurance

Indigenous TM and other T&CM practices are widely practiced by the population, however, the exact numbers are not known. In 1998, T&CM providers of herbal medicines are regulated at national level, however the enforcement lacks the involvement of relevant bodies.

The Goverment offcially recognizes training programmes for indigenous TM practitioners.  Many indigenous TM providers and providers of T&CM practices as acupuncture, ayuverdic medicine, chiropractic and traditional Chinese medicine practise within Cambodia, but data to quantify numbers are not available.

There are regulations on herbal medicine providers (dispensers and producers). Based on the recently revised Law on Regulation of Health Practitioners (2016), the group is currently developing an instrument under this law to regulate T&CM practitioners. Short-term training for T&CM practitioners is provided by the NCTM.

There is no health insurance for T&CM services.

Ministry of Health Cambodia
No. 80, Samdach Penn Nouth Blvd (289), Sankat Beoungkak 2
Tuol Kork District, Phnom Penh
Tel.-Fax: (855-23) 885-970 / 884 909


WHO Global Report on Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2019. World Health organization (WHO). [Accesssed on 12 August 2021] Available at

Cambodia’s Health Strategy Plan

Health Strategic Plan 2003-2007 (HSP1) was launched in August 2002 and presided over by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of The Royal Government of Cambodia. Health officials at all levels of the health system together with other relevant national, international stakeholders and community have implemented the plan in a responsible manner toward achieving the Cambodian health related Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey 2005 indicates that Cambodia has made considerable progress toward successfully accomplishing the MDG 4 (reduce child mortality) and MDG 6 (Combat main communicable diseases of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). With regard to MDG 5 (Improve maternal health), maternal mortality remains high and continues to pose a great challenge. This requires considerable investment in term of resources, and, at the same time, strengthening of interventions, further institutional development and capacity building, as well as enhancing health system functioning, including effective coordination and multi-sectoral collaboration.

The Second Health Sector Strategic Plan 2008-2015 (HSP2) is based on a robust platform of experiences gained from both strengths and weaknesses of the implementation of the HSP1. It aims to address health needs of the population during the eight coming years by using the opportunity offered by the Royal Government of Cambodia to maximum extent possible, as the improvement in health status of all Cambodians is recognized by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) as a priority for investing national resources in the social sector. Two crucial opportunities, which will shape core roles and functions of the health system to be more responsive and accountable to health needs of the population, are the implementation of the RGC Decentralization and Deconcentration process, as well the RGC Policy on Service Delivery. The approach to the health strategy 2008-2015 has taken these contextual factors into account.

HSP2 has clearly defined the policy agenda consisting of 15 elements that need to beimplemented by health institutions at all levels in order to achieve three main goals of the plan: reduce newborn, child and maternal morbidity and mortality with increased reproductive health, reduce morbidity and mortality of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases, and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases and other health problems.

Moving towards accomplishing these goals, the health strategy has been developed and focuses on five strategic areas: health service delivery, health care financing, human resource for health, health information system, and health system governance in order to direct interventions for the entire health sector in line with the “Rectangular Strategy” and the National Strategic Development Plan of the RGC.

The Third Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020 (HSP3) is to guide the Ministry of Health and all health institutions as well as concerned stakeholders to effectively and efficiently use their available resources to translate health strategies into action in pursuit of achieving the defined goals and objectives of the plan. The aim of HSP3 is to redirect and strengthening their plans for the entire health sector (both public and private) to ensure consistent application of strategies across programs. The plan also aims to mobilize adequate financial resources, inform fiscal allocation, and guide development aisitance in health.

Policy Direction

Better health and well-being for all people in Cambodia.
A long term broader vision of the Ministry of Health is “to enhance sustainable development of the health sector for better health and well-being of all Cambodian, especially of the poor, women and children, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.”

To ensure quality health services are geographically and financially accessible and socio-culturally acceptable to all people in Cambodia.

3.Value and Working Principles

A value-based commitment of the Ministry of Health is the rights and equity to health for all Cambodians.

Working Principles

Increased efficiency, accountability, quality and equity throughout the health system will be achieved only through application of morality, strong beliefs and commitment to common goals by all who are working in health care. Therefore, the day-to-day activities of health managers and staff in all areas throughout the organizations at all levels should be guided by five principles:  

i. Social health protection, especially for the poor and vulnerable groups
ii. Client focused approach to health service delivery
iii. Integrated approach to high quality health service delivery and public health interventions
iv. Human resources management as the cornerstone for the health system
v. Good governance and accountability

4. Policy Directions 2016-2020

i. Increase population’s access to and utilization of promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative affordable, safe and effective health services;
ii. Reduce the financial burden when accessing and utilizing health care services, especially for the poor and vulnerable population groups;
iii. Increase government health spending while ensuring improved efficiencies for use of available resources, including household expenditure on health;
iv. Provide adequate, competency-based, pre- and in-service training for the health workforce, ensure equitable distribution and retain well-trained health personnel at public health facilities;
v. Provide public health facilities with adequate medicines, health commodities and other resource infrastructure, including medical equipment and technologies, amenities and ICT;
vi. Strengthen heath management information system and disease surveillance and response systems, and promote health research and use of information for health service management and monitoring performance;
vii. Strengthen institutional capacity with emphasis on regulatory capacity to enforce health legislation and regulations, promote public-private partnership and increase local accountability for health.


Ministry of Health of Cambodia
No. 80, Samdach Penn Nouth Blvd (289), Sankat Beoungkak 2
Tuol Kork District, Phnom Penh
Tel.-Fax: (855-23) 885-970 / 884 909


Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020, Quality, Effective and Equitable Health Services. Department of Planning & Health Information. Ministry of Health of Cambodia. [Accessed on 12 July 2021] Available  at

Cambodia Science & Technology Policy

The National Science, Tecnology and Innovation Policy 2020-2030 was approved in December 2019 by the Prime Minister of Cambodia. The objective of the policy is to focus on reinforcing the national STI foundation and nurturing an innovation ecosystem that is conductive to sustainable and inclusive development. In order to achieve the objective, the goverment is seeking advice on developing policy implementation strategies to guide the ministries and relevant institutions on what they will have to undertake in terms of activities, responsible ministry / organization, timeline and resources.


Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
Building 80, Preah Norodom Boulevard
Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
Tel./Fax: (+855-23) 219 285
Email: / 


Development of a road map to implement Cambodia’s Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020-2030. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at

Cambodia’s Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety

The Biosafety and biotechnology policy lies within the biodiversity policy as outlined in the national biodiversity strategy and action plan. The policy is a part of the strategic triangle in developing the country, i.e. economic growth, social development and sustainability. Moreover, the government recognized that biosafety is a key factor to promote agriculture and a cross-cutting issue that might not only affect the national food safety but the national security. With the limited application of biotechnology, the government of Cambodia has instead focused on promoting natural breeding for plants, crops and animals, with emphasis on selection for resistance to diseases, pests, and drought to boost agriculture. Cambodia is aware that it is not capable of developing any living modified organisms (LMOs) in the near future. It is more likely to be a user of LMOs instead of a producer of LMOs. Therefore, the government approved on September 09, 2002 the accessing to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. As a Party to Protocol on Biosafety, Cambodia can use the protocol as a basis to develop its own laws on biosafety so as to reduce risks from LMOs on the conservation and sustainable uses of its biological resources and human health. On December 16, 2003, the Protocol entered into force in Cambodia.

Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy Goals

The goal for Cambodia toward biosafety and biotechnology development is highlighted as follows:

  • Develop biotechnology education while preventing or minimizing environmental and health hazards associated with the use and release of living modified organisms.
  • Protect indigenous biodiversity from adverse impact resulting from the introduction and use of living modified organisms.

Through this goal, Cambodia is expected to develop its national strategy and framework on biosafety and build national capacity in modern biotechnology. This will enable Cambodia to meet its challenges in agricultural biotechnology as well as address gaps in technical, infrastructure, and institutional capacities.

Priorities for biosafety and biotechnology development in Cambodia include:

  • Research in microbial biodiversity.
  • Use of biotechnology to reduce the use of chemicals.
  • Use of biotechnology to control pollution and to improve environmental health and other aspects of environment.
  • Provide capacity for monitoring and enforcement to concerned ministries, NGOs and universities.
  • Build capacity in appropriate labs in Cambodia to be able to identify LMOs.
  • Utilize biotechnology to produce protein rich products that could be used as animal feed, organic fertilizers, soil conditioners and soil stabilizers.
  • Promote sound genetic manipulation to increase fish and crop production.
  • Promote the production of biogas, bio- fertilizers, and energy as a by-product of fermentation processes.
  • Establish a national directory of human resources working on subjects concerned with biotechnology and biosafety.
  • Develop a biotechnology training program including risk assessment and risk management of LMOs.
  • Increase university resources in biotechnology research and development.
  • Include in the educational curricula the concept of genetic diversity, its importance and application in genetic engineering and technology.

Ministry of Environment
48 Samdech Preah Sihanouk Boulevard
Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia
Tel.: (+855) 23 213 908 / (+855) 23 220 369


National Biosafety framework, June 2004. [Accessed on 29 July 2021] Available at

Cambodia National Biotechnology Framework

Cambodia became the second country, after Malaysia, in South East Asia to be a Party to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Protocol entered into force in Cambodia on December 16, 2003. We are proud to be developing the national law on biosafety and the sub-decree on LMOs management. Both these legal instruments will help Cambodia to prevent and/or reduce possible risk from the release into the environment of living modified organisms (LMOs) in Cambodia.

This National Biosafety Framework (NBF) marks the significant progress in the development of a biosafety policy to ensure the safety of biological resources and human beings associated with the application of biotechnology. It is a pro-active step for Cambodia to have this law before we are fully admitted as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This membership would bring with it another set of responsibilities and consequences. The scope of NBF does not cover products of modern biotechnology including products derived from LMOs. Recognizing that society including Cambodia will enjoy tremendous benefits especially in the fields of bio-pharmacy and agricultural biotechnology, it is important that these products are used safely. Precaution must be applied in the handling, transfer, and use of these products. Since our expertise at present is limited to the prevention of such risks from occurring, the implementation of the Advance Informed Agreement Procedure under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety will assist us in decision making. Additionally, the law on biosafety is the key to achieve the national and global objective in the conservation and use of genetic resources in a sustainable manner.

The success that we will obtain from the NBF is dependent on our capacity to implement the NBF and our success in achieving public acceptance of the biotechnology, raising public awareness and increasing public participation. Capacity building should be provided to all levels of personnel prior to the full implementation of the framework to ensure its effective implementation.


Ministry of Environment
48 Samdech Preah Sihanouk Boulevard
Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia
Tel.: (+855) 23 213 908 / (+855) 23 220 369


National Biosafety framework, June 2004. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at at

Cambodia National Forest Sector Policy

Statement of the Royal Government on National Forest Sector Policy

The Royal Government of Cambodia is endeavoring to implement a coordinated set of laws, programs, action plans, and institutional arrangements regarding forest resources which are directed toward enabling the achievement of national goals of environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, socio-economic development, and good governance, as described in the Policy Statement of the Royal Government of Cambodia on Forestry, the Socio-economic Development Plan, the Poverty Reduction Strategy, and the Governance Action Plan. This set of national goals directed to the sustainable development of the Nation provides the overall development framework for the conservation and management of the country’s forest resources.

The Royal Government of Cambodia considers the ecologically, socially and economically viable conservation and management of forest resources as a major pillar of public welfare directly contributing to environmental protection, poverty reduction and socio-economic development.

The Royal Government of Cambodia commits itself to the conservation and management of the country’s unique forest resources in a sustainable manner now and for future generations. The results and the follow up processes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 are taken into account to consider the concept of sustainable forest management within the framework of the sustainable development of Cambodia.

The Royal Government of Cambodia acknowledges the multiple perceptions, interests and objectives of the numerous forest interest groups of the country’s society, in the region of the Mekong Basin and at the global level regarding the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources.      

The sustainable development through good governance is the key principle that outlined in the Rectangular Strategy II and National Strategic Development Plan (2009-2013) of Cambodia’s policy. The first version of National Forest Programme (2010-2029) considers changing conditions of the forests and society in the global context. It provides strategic directions that place governance at the heart of sustainable forest management and increasing forest contributions to national development objectives.

The objectives of these initiatives within the set of national goals regarding forest resources are:

  1. Maximize sustainable forest contribution to poverty alleviation, enhanced livelihoods and equitable economic growth.
  2. Adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects on forest based livelihoods.
  3. Macro land-use planning that allows for holistic planning across sectors, jurisdictions and local government borders.
  4. Forest governance, law and enforcement at all levels.
  5. Develop a conflict management system.
  6. Raise awareness, capacity of institutions and quality of education to enables sustainable implementation of the National Forest Programme.
  7. Ensure environmental protection and conservation of forest resources.
  8. Apply modern sustainable management models adaptive to changing contact.
  9. Develop sustainable financing systems.

The commitment to accomplish the national forest goals

For the achievement of the national goals of environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, economic development, and good governance, the Government will endeavor to accomplish the following tasks:

1. Forest Resource Conservation:

  • To reclassify and to dedicate the major part of remaining natural forest stands to their ecosystems protection and biodiversity conservation functions.
  • To promote conservation and protection strategies such as protected forests, watershed management, genetic and wildlife resources conservation, eco-tourism, and special management areas with a maximum participation of the local population.
  • To implement the strict application of the Code of Practice as regulatory framework for the sustainable management of forest resources and forest concessions.
  • To conduct extension, education and public awareness campaigns at all levels of the Cambodian society.

2. Good Governance:

  • To implement capacity building, institutional strengthening and research programs at all levels.
  • To conduct education, training and public awareness campaigns, with particular regard to the participation of local populations within conservation and sustainable forest management plans.
  • To establish a forest administration in which necessary steps of devolution of decision-making power can take place and in which functional procedures for multi-institutional collaborations are grounded.
  • To encourage, implement and coordinate multi-stakeholder processes that enable the harmonization of the different perceptions, interests and objectives of the various forest interest groups at local, regional and international levels.
  • To promote transparent information for the forest sector.        

3. Socio-Economic Development:

  • To promote the high socio-economic value of forest ecosystems protection and biodiversity conservation functions of natural forest resources.
  • To promote the substitution of timber supply from natural forest stands by timber plantations through encouraging private investment and public participation.
  • To optimize the use, processing and marketing system for forest products especially plantation forest products to support domestic demand, and export markets.

4. Poverty Reduction:

  • To recognize legally and protect the traditional rights of local populations to use forest resources under the framework of food security and poverty reduction considerations.
  • To optimize the benefits to local populations from the use and management of forest resources through the implementation of forestry and wildlife conservation concept based on the participation of local populations.

In addition to the set of national goals directed to the development framework for the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources the Royal Government of Cambodia acknowledges international issues, processes and commitments occurring as a result of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and its follow-up processes relevant to the country’s forest resources. The Royal Government of Cambodia envisions that a long term National Forest Programme (NFP) will be implemented consistent with the framework of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests promoted by the International Arrangement on Forests with the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests.


Forestry Administration 
40, Preah Norodom Blvd, Phsar Kandal 2
Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel.: (855) 23 214 651
Fax: (855) 23 212 201


National Forest Programme 2010-2029. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at

Agricultural Sector Strategic Development Plan (2006-2010) in Cambodia

The development of the agriculture sector has been an important element of the Royal Government’s strategy to reduce poverty in rural communities, achieve food security and foster equitable and sustainable economic growth. From a poverty eradication perspective, the most important policy-related objective regarding agriculture development is improvement of household food security. Contributing to the objective, improved living standards more generally, market-based farming will be enhanced, because 85 percent of the population lives in rural communities and 75 percent of the poor are farmer-headed households. This plan is carried out by the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
200, Preah Norodom Blvd (41), Phnom Penh 370, Cambodia
Tel: (855) 23 726 128


Agricultural Sector Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010. Department of Planning and Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. [Accessed on 12 August 2021]. Available at

Cambodia National Biodiversity Strategic Plan and Action

Cambodia, a tropical country found on the peninsula of mainland Southeast Asia adjacent to the gulf of Thailand with a land area of 181,035km2. Cambodia has a coastline of 435km, and its land border of 2,438km runs along Thailand to the west, Viet Nam to the east and Laos PDR to the north. Biogeographically, Cambodia is dominated by the lowlands along the Mekong River and Tonle Sap (Great Lake), which are the sites of most of the population and agriculture and three mountainous regions in the Southwest, North and Northeast, which are less populated and rich in forest resources.

This geography helps to form an unusual phenomenon whereby in the Rainy season the Mekong River backs up and actually flows into the Tonle Sap causing the lake to swell up to 4 times its size. The Tonle Sap Lake provided a wealth of biological resources. Specifically, the seasonal flooding of the Tonle Sap, supplies suitable conditions for rice and fish, which were and still are the staple foods in Cambodia. This is probably why the ancient Khmer empire of Angkor was located near its shores. Depictions of plants and animals, throughout Angkor Wat, give an indication of the biodiversity of the area and its cultural importance through utilization. The Tonle Sap ecosystem was, and is still considered by many to be the heart of the country.

The full extent of Cambodia’s biodiversity is not yet known; however Cambodia is thought to have a rich diversity of species and is considered a biodiversity ‘hot spot’ (an area very rich in biodiversity) given its tropical location. Compared with neighbouring countries, Cambodia has a low population density and relatively large intact natural areas that are still intact.

Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity

Biodiversity supports human societies ecologically, economically, culturally and spiritually. Despite its importance, however, ecosystems are being degraded and species and genetic diversity reduced at an alarming rate due to the impact of our growing human population and increasing resource consumption rates. The global decline of biodiversity is now recognized as one of the most serious environmental issues facing humanity.

Recognition of the worldwide impact of the decline of biodiversity inspired the global community to negotiate the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The Cambodian delegation participated actively in these negotiations. The Kingdom of Cambodia ratified the Convention in 1995.

The three objectives of the Biodiversity Convention are

  • the conservation of biodiversity;
  • the sustainable use of biological resources; and
  • the fair and equitable sharing of benefits resulting from the use of genetic resources.

These objectives echo the three poles of sustainable development (ecological integrity, economic sustainability and social equity) and illustrate the nature and breadth of the Convention. As a global instrument, it sets the stage for each nation to assess the adequacy of current efforts to conserve biodiversity and sustainably use biological resources and to determine how gaps will be filled and opportunities realized.

One of the key obligations for parties that have ratified the Convention is to prepare a national strategy. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is a response to this obligation and has been developed as a guide to the implementation of the Biodiversity Convention in Cambodia. All of the strategic directions contained in the Strategy are relevant from a national perspective, but some elements of the Strategy may not be relevant in some areas of the country of for some sectoral agencies.  

The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan recognizes existing constitutional and legislative responsibilities for biodiversity in Cambodia. It also emphasizes the importance of intergovernmental co-operation to create the policy, management and research conditions necessary to advance sustainable management of natural resources. National and regional governments and sectoral ministries and departments, in cooperation with stakeholders and members of community, will pursue implementation of the directions contained in the Strategy according to their policies, plans, priorities and fiscal capabilities.

Equitable economic prosperity and improved quality of life through sustainable use, protection and management of biological resources.

2. Mission
To use, protect and manage biodiversity for sustainable development in Cambodia     

3. Main strategic goal

  • Identify, inventory, monitor and enhance awareness about genetic resources, species, habitats or ecosystems and related ecosystem services that are important for sustainbale development and poverty eradication in Cambodia as a priority for conservation and sustainable use;
  • Identify and describe the direct and indirect factors and processes that are negatively impacting Cambodia’s priority biodiversity components; and apply, as appropriate, preventive and corrective measures;
  • Maintain or strengthen measures that have a positive impact on biodiversity and thus enhance the benefits to all in Cambodia from biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, for an equitable economic prosperity and improved quality of life;
  • Strengthen the enabling environment for the implementation of the strategy.

4. Strategic Objectives

The strategic objectives listed in each section constitute a reflection of the intentions of the government regarding each sector of activity. They are specific and measurable objectives that will guide the relevant ministries during the implementation phase of the strategy and action plan. Ministries will regularly document and report on the identified indicators attached to each objective.    

5.Priority Action

Priority actions adopted by the government can be grouped in three broad categories: actions promoting awareness and capacity building of government staff and local communities for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biological resources; actions promoting the implementation of community-based natural resource management; and actions aimed at clarifying ministerial jurisdictions, reducing responsibility overlap and promoting inter-ministerial coordination and collaboration in a sustainable development perspective.

Proposed mechanisms for implementing the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

  • The production of an annual national report on policies, activities and plans aimed at implementing the Strategy;
  • Co-ordinating the implementation of national and international elements of the Strategy through a permanent Interdepartmental Biodiversity Steering Committee and National Secretariat for Biodiversity;
  • Measures to allow and encourage non-government participation in the implementation of the Strategy;
  • Regular reporting on the indicators identified for each strategic objective
  • Reporting on the status of biodiversity at the country level; and,
  • Revision of the Strategy after an initial implementation phase of two years.

Successful implementation of the Strategy will be determined, in large measure, by the degree to which all parts of society adopt its vision and principles and contribute to achieving its goals. Ultimately, the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources will require the support and participation of individual citizens, local communities, urban and local authorities, conservation groups, business and industry, educational and research institutions. The implementation of the actions listed in the Action Plan will be decentralized, de-concentrated and under the responsibility of each participating ministry, agency or non-governmental organization.

To monitor and evaluate the progress through the report, it is necessary to fix target of some available indicators in the plan. The BSAP Actions and indicators matrix can be used to effectively monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the BSAP through the measurable indicators for the themed actions.

Ministry of Environment
48 Samdech Preah Sihanouk
Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia
Tel.: (+855) 23 213 908 / (+855) 23 220 369


National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Kingdom of Cambodia. February 2016. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at

Cambodia’s Policy on Research Development in the Education Sector

In July 2010, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has developed the “Policy on Research Development in the Education Sector”. The Policy stated that Higher education plays a primary role in responding to globalization. The experiences of advanced and developed countries demonstrate that developing human resources in institutions of higher education is essential for advancing the country. Globalization brings both opportunities and challenges to education in Cambodia. Challenges to the higher education sector include: increasing numbers of students accessing institutions throughout the country, growing need for research, building the knowledge society and advancing the economy, and increasing autonomy and accountability of higher education institutions. Higher education institutions need for academic freedom, good governance, respect for intellectual property, higher level of academic qualification, will improve the quality of education to gain regional and international recognition.

Education for sustainable national development demands that the country pays more attention to improving education strategies and developing the research capacity of higher education institutions throughout Cambodia. Currently, due to the lack of human resources, higher education institutions in Cambodia still primarily focus on teaching rather than research and the provision of professional services. Building a research culture in higher education institutions is a new initiative that will motivate people working in the sector to become more creative, innovative and accountable.

Higher education institutions should provide opportunities and encouragement to students, lecturers and researchers, to develop research and professional skills, and participate in local and international scientific research forums.

Vision, Goal and Purposes

To build the capacity of human resources in terms of knowledge, skills, ethics, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to maximize the long term development of Cambodian society and economy in the globalization context.

The policy will build research culture in all higher education institutions, transforming them into outstanding institutions to link education and research to develop the country.

Policy on Research Development in the Education Sector has the following purposes:

  • To enhance the quality of higher education in Cambodia by transforming the institutions into research centres for developing and creating new knowledge.
  • To increase the opportunities for cooperation with national and international networks.
  • To advance human resource capacity, creativity and innovation.

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
80, Preah Norodom Boulevard (41)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel.: (+855) 23 219 285


Policy on Research Development in the Education Sector, 1st July 2010. [Accessed 12 August 2021] Available at

Laws & Regulations

Cambodia’s Law on Forestry

The law on forestry as ratified by the National Assembly on July 30, 2002 at the eighth plenary session of second legislature and as ratified by the Senate as to its entire form and legality on August 15, 2002 at the seventh plenary session of the first legislature. Chapter 10 (page 17 of the law) has stated on the Conservation on Wildlife. Chapter 10 has 4 articles that related wildlife conservation (Article 48 to article 51).

Below are the 4 articles:

Article  48 —

All kinds of wildlife species in the Kingdom of Cambodia are State property and the component of forest resources, including all species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, other invertebrates, and their eggs or offspring. Such wildlife is under the management, research and conservation of the Forestry Administration, except for fish and animals that breed in water.

Wildlife specimens are dead wildlife, including the whole body, internal or external organs, the skeleton and processing products, and shall be under the management jurisdiction of the Forestry Administration.

All wildlife shall be divided into the following three categories:

  • Endangered species;
  • Rare species; and
  • Common species.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, through the proposal of the Forestry Administration, shall issue a Prakas to determine the criteria for each category and establish a separate list for endangered and rare species, which may vary between regions in Cambodia, with consultation with Ministry of Environment.

Article 49 —
It is strictly prohibited to hunt, harm or harass all wildlife

  • Using all types of dangerous means;
  • Hunting during the prohibited season; and
  • Hunting in protected zones and special public areas.

The Forestry Administration, upon the agreement from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has the authority to issue a permit involving rare and endangered species for the following purposes:

  • For educational or scientific research;
  • In support of a Captive Breeding Program;
  • To exchange wildlife species pursuant to international cooperation agreements;

It shall be prohibited to commit the following activities against rare and endangered wildlife species:

  • Harass or harm any such species above or its habitat;
  • Hunt, net, trap or poison;
  • Possess, stock or maintain as a zoo or in a family house;
  • Transport;
  • Trade; and
  • Export-Import.

Rules on the activities related to all types of wildlife species shall be determined by Joint-Prakas between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry of Environment.

Article  50 —
It is prohibited to commit the following activities against common wildlife species, except by a permit issued by the Forestry Administration:

  • Stock or maintain as a zoo or in a family house;
  • Transport and Trade an amount exceeding that necessary for customary use.

The export-import of any common wildlife species shall be accompanied by a permit issued by the Forestry Administration, upon the approval of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Article  51 —
The Forestry Administration shall collect the following Wildlife Conservation Fee and Wildlife Royalty:

  • A Wildlife Conservation Fee shall be paid to the Forest Development Fund; and
  • A Wildlife Royalty shall be paid to the National Budget.

The amount of a Wildlife Conservation Fee and Wildlife Royalty shall be determined by Joint-Prakas between the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Forestry Administration 
40, Preah Norodom Blvd (41), Phsar Kandal 2
Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel.: (855) 23 214 651
Fax: (855) 23 212 201
Facebook page:


Law on Forestry. Forest Administration 2003. Kingdom of Cambodia. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at

Cambodia’s Education Law

The Kingdom of Cambodia emphasised that research and education is an important catalyst in the long-term development of the country’s economy and society. It is evidenced when it was mentioned in the Education Law, Article 18, paragraph 2:
“Higher Education shall teach learners to have complete personality and characteristic and promote the scientific, technical, cultural and social researches in order to achieve capacity, knowledge, skill, morality, inventive and creative ideas and enterprise spirit to the development of the country.”

And In Article 28, paragraph 1:
“The state shall promote and support research, development, invention and production, which are scientific and technological for education to meet the needs of the labor markets and globalization to promote human resource capacity and to enhance the development of the country.”

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport
80, Preah Norodom Boulevard (41)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel.: (+855) 23 219 285


Policy on Research Development in the Education Sector, 1st July 2010. [Accessed on 12 August 2021] Available at

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