Over the past two decades Cambodia has realized exceptional rates of economic growth averaging over seven percent prior to the pandemic, with persistent declines in poverty and rapid improvements in human development. Yet Cambodia faces several development challenges. Pressures stemming from Cambodia’s rapid progression as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) have tended to be resource and carbon intensive, resulting in environmental challenges and natural resource depletion. For example, forest coverage has been declining for decades, and from 2010 to 2018 shrank from 57 percent to less than 47 percent of national territory.


To sustain Cambodia’s vital ecosystems and environment, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has implemented environmental governance reforms. These include new policies and legal frameworks, jurisdictional reforms resulting in the creation of protected landscapes that cover 7.4 million hectares of land (41% of the country), a new draft Environment and Natural Resources Code, decentralization of natural resource management functions and a moratorium on new economic land concessions. The government has also embraced the REDD+ agenda.


REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, enhancement of forest carbon, conservation and sustainable management of forests) is a global policy initiative under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to tackle climate change threats by addressing emissions from the forest and other land use sector (FOLU) of the economy in tropical forest countries.


Cambodian national development policies, strategies and programmes have incorporated REDD+ as part of their strategic agendas. For example, reducing emission from deforestation by half by 2030 is one of the ambitious pledges in the NDC. Financing the implementation of the pledges, Cambodia is exploring diverse sources based on the financing instruments. In this context, carbon markets could be a substantive source of finance for forest-related activities, an incentive for reducing emissions as cost-effectively as possible, fostering the transition to a low-carbon or green economy. Market-based climate finance offers the potential to stimulate investments in mitigation sector and achieve its ambitious pledges in the FOLU sector of the NDC. Additionally, Cambodia is working on several fronts related to decisions on Article 6, which include guidance and rules to operationalize the use of international carbon markets in the context of the Paris Agreement.


It is therefore key for Cambodia to position itself and engage in carbon markets efficiently, striking a good balance between mobilizing climate finance for the FOLU Sector and fulfilling its NDC and the Long-Term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality (LTS4CN) targets, and to strategically use carbon markets to finance climate action vis-à-vis other funding sources, considering both the country context and the technical/institutional requirements that are being defined globally in both compliance and voluntary carbon markets. 


UNDP has been a key partner of the Royal Government of Cambodia during the REDD+ readiness phase and will continue to provide support during the implementation and result-based payments phases. Specifically, UNDP is supporting Cambodia in the design and implementation of its Carbon Market Access Strategy which forest components and the implementation of the REDD+ will be key elements to achieving its mitigation commitments under the NDC and LTS4CN.


As part of those initiatives, the UNDP-led Climate Promise 2.0 (CP2) is supporting the RGC to be ready for the implementation of REDD+ under the UNFCCC, among others, to enable the country to access voluntary carbon markets as well as results-based payments through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) shortly.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Carbon Market Consultant will perform the following key functions:


A. Develop a Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan in the FOLU sector

B. Conduct dialogue with non-state market actors (buyers, investors, brokers), enhancing market networking focus on the FOLU sector.

C. Hold consultations with the Government and its partners or other key stakeholders to channel investments for NDC implementation.

D. Contribute to producing knowledge products on Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan.


A. Develop a Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan, focusing on FOLU sector

  • Analyse existing policy, strategies and other official documents related to the FOLU Sector in Cambodia, focusing on the information associated with the REDD+ and other forestry programmes - aligning with the Action and Investment Plan from REDD+, estimated GHG emission reductions and targets of the NDC (2020) and costs and benefits of forest-related actions in the LTS4CN (2021).

  • Tailored, country-specific “carbon markets access strategies” in the FOLU sector will identify, compile information and data from existing carbon market initiatives, projects and transactions and evaluate their effectiveness to enable the national government to define if and how to existing voluntary carbon market initiatives may be integrated into the national accounting for their first NDC commitment period, in addition to considering new opportunities to engage in carbon markets, domestically and internationally, through compliance and voluntary mechanisms.

  • Include the analysis and latest results for FOLU’s activities of the assessment of the potential of Cambodia’s climate change mitigation actions for carbon markets (2022).

    • Ranking of activities in terms of costs, incremental levels of emissions reduction, any other complementary results that affect the prioritization and analysis.

    • Due to the expert-based MACC approach used in this study has some limitations, consider additional information/analysis to include potential institutional and implementation barriers as a lack of capacity that can affect the results of this study for the FOLU activities.

  • Provide additional analyse on institutional infrastructure, regulatory framework and technical systems in the FOLU Sector to determine gaps, barriers and requirements for participating in the Carbon Markets.

  • Include in the analysis the results of the COP-27 on Egypt that could affect Cambodia, related to corresponding adjustments measures, VCM approaches, and any other guideline linked with the fulfilment and trajectory of the NDC on the FOLU Sector.

  • Review of external/independent studies/reports in Cambodia or the Asia-Pacific Region (if relevant) related with this assignment.

  • Based on the available information and findings, propose Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan in the FOLU sector. Use the list below as entry points of this work, but should also consider other relevant points that may arise during the development of the Workplan:

    • Set of objectives to participate in the Carbon Markets aligned with the REDD+ program, NDC and LTS.

    • Identify and analyse the comparative advantages of Cambodia, as well as the competitiveness of its offer of carbon credits based on the progress of Cambodia and developed components.

    • Present nesting framework as a critical element to increase the impact of individual projects by being embedded in national accounting policies and frameworks.

    • Review and analyse the Cambodia’s Positive Lists and potential prioritized activities/projects based on mitigation performance and impacts, and consider other multiplier benefits/opportunities (social, economic, ecological, adaptation, prioritised areas).

    • Identify ongoing initiatives to land management (policies, programs, projects) to determine synergies and potential strategic actions to scale prioritized activities/projects.

    • During the assignment, include and propose a decision-making diagram for "corresponding adjustments" in accordance with the national position regarding the Paris Agreement, as an additional incentive to leverage investment in certain areas/activities by project developers (e.g. clarify when and how activities that generate carbon credits under the carbon markets contribute to Cambodia’ NDC and company/donors' goals, etc).

    • Establish a clear outline of the conditions and early actions to participate in both the voluntary and regulated markets based on the previous findings, aligning with the country's climate objectives.

    • Propose actions to ensure the institutional capacities required for the participation in the carbon markets consolidating a close relationship among stakeholders, project implementers, potential buyers, and the Government.

      • Reinforcement of institutional and technical capacities of the participating institutions, seeking to align interests and knowledge about the costs/benefits of the carbon market and to combine national efforts with the challenges of integration with a global market.

      • Generation of knowledge addressing issues of regional interest to aimed at harmonising taxonomies, standards, verification methodologies and certifications, central elements for the efficient functioning of the carbon market, other elements

      • Collect, process and maintain information in a database for both voluntary and regulated markets.

    • Establish the general guidelines to develop a multi-sector dialogue, to generate and disseminate knowledge that contributes to accelerating learning processes and strengthening private, public and civil society capacities in an enabling environment.

      • Identify possible synergies with other sectors in such a way as to expand multisectoral collaboration that allows diversifying and broadening the base of prioritized forestry projects.

      • Develop specific lines of action for the participation of key government services for its implementation and propose institutional arrangements for it.

      • Develop specific lines of action for identifying key domestic, regional, and global partners.

    • Define a timeline to develop a specific carbon market access strategy for the forestry sector with the findings indicated in this workplan (milestones, activities, results, and compliance indicators)

B. Support organization of dialogues with non-state market actors (buyers, investors, brokers), enhancing market networking focus on FOLU sector.

  • Assist the RGC and UNDP’s team to plan, organize and carry out dialogues to present the Workplan with key market actors (buyers, investors, brokers, etcetera) and REDD+’s stakeholders for Cambodia.
  • Contribute with methodologies (ad-hoc for each actor, if needed) and develop the material required to conduct dialogue (briefs, information materials, PPT, etc.).
  • Systematize the information and reporting results as well as elaborate the respective outputs.
  • Contribute to consolidating discussion, strategic inputs and lessons learned in the work plan's last version.
  • Ensure the gender approach set by UNDP is included in the entire consultation process.


C. Support consultations with government partners or other key stakeholders to channel investments for NDC implementation

  • Assist UNDP’s team to formulate and facilitate a consultation process for the carbon markets readiness workplan.
  • Establish methodology (relevant stakeholders, method, etc.) and develop the material required to facilitate the consultation (concept notes, information materials, PPTs, etc.).
  • Organize and carry out the consultation in coordination with UNDP (mix modality onsite/online).
  • Systematize the information and report the process as well as elaborate the respective outputs.
  • Incorporate the results and adjust the Workplan following the recommendations or feedback received during the consultations.
  • Ensure the gender approach set by UNDP is included in the entire consultation process.


D. Contribute to producing knowledge products on Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan.

  1. Product 1: Blog about the development and consultation process of the Workplan (800 words)

  2. Product 2: Executive Summary of the Workplan for policymakers (2 pages)

  3. Product 3: Presentation on Carbon Markets Readiness Workplan and the consultation process (B and C)


Functional competencies:

  • Forest development: Knowledge of forestry and development and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

  • Climate change: Knowledge of climate change Including climate change international regime) and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

  • Climate finance: Knowledge of carbon markets and climate finance concepts and instruments and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

  • Resource mobilization: Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources

Corporate competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards. 

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master with at least 2 years or Bachelor with at least 5 years of relevant professional work experience on issues related to climate change, climate finance and investment, REDD+, conservation, natural resources management, forest economic and policy.


  • At least 2 years of work experience in climate finance, market and resource mobilization.

  • Sound knowledge on various climate regulations, policies, and guidelines such as Paris Agreement, specifically Article 6 and previous academic work on Article 6 and NDCs will be an asset.

  • Demonstrated experience in working on carbon finance projects under the Kyoto Protocol (CDM) and REDD+ programs and voluntary carbon projects (VCS, GS, etc).
  • Experience in working with multi stakeholders including the government, NGOs, private sector, and CSOs.

  • Experience of implementing programmes across the UN agencies and across the Royal Government of Cambodia are definite advantages.

Language Requirement:

  • Fluency in spoken and written Khmer and English.

Interested offeror must read the Individual Consultant (IC) Procurement Notice, which can be viewed at   more detail information about term of references, instructions to offeror, and to download the documents to be submitted in the offer through online.