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Charcoal Addiction Costs Cambodia Its Forests

April 10, 2012|

Cambodia has one of the worst deforestation rates in the world, which has accelerated with the country's rapid economic development and population growth. Charcoal production in Cambodia alone is responsible for 1.4 million hectares of net forest loss. But weaning Cambodians from wood fuel is no easy task. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 84 percent of the country's population depend on wood fuel as the main source of energy, and 27 percent of Phnom Penh's residents rely primarily on charcoal. As the population of Cambodia grows, the demand for charcoal will also increase, promising many Cambodian families a stable, alluring source of income.