FOREST: Rattan in Cambodia on way to bigger market
For the first time ever, Cambodia is allowing export of semi-finished rattan products. A recent government decision on export quotas will reduce the risk of illegal rattan trade across the border. The first legal export, involving five metric tonnes of split and polished rattan, will go to an IKEA supplier in Vietnam this year before becoming IKEA baskets, trays and decoration items.
Rattan has been important to the livelihoods of rural Cambodian’s for centuries, and more sustainable practices would benefit the forests as well as local communities, companies and the nation overall. WWF’s rattan project manager Ou Ratanak says sustainable forest management and the contribution of rattan and other non-timber forest products to local community is now a top priority in forest sector policy and national plans.
“Rattan export is an important step forward and an opportunity for the Rattan Association of Cambodia to gain experience from foreign markets,” says Ou Ratanak.