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Transforming Market Systems in Cambodia’s Protected Areas

A landscape shot of rice farmers in a field harvesting conservation-friendly rice

Tetra Tech, on behalf of USAID and in partnership with the people of Cambodia, is conserving biodiversity, combating deforestation, and improving economic growth in four of Cambodia’s most globally significant protected areas.

Cambodia’s forests and biodiversity have been significantly affected by the country’s rapid development over the past 20 years. Forest cover has dramatically decreased, leaving diminished habitat options for wildlife, and many threatened species have experienced precipitous drops in their populations. The remaining intact forests, primarily found in the country’s protected area network, face unprecedented threats from commercial and smallholder agricultural development, infrastructure, hunting, and the illegal wildlife trade. The rural population in these remote areas, many of whom are Indigenous Peoples, have not benefited equally from Cambodia’s rapid growth and are underrepresented in market systems for sustainable goods and services.


  • Developing and strengthening 10 conservation-friendly, climate-smart businesses
  • Improving economic and livelihood co-benefits for 20,000 people
  • Leveraging $100 million of government and private sector investment
  • Protecting 5 critically endangered species and more than 80 threatened species
  • Improving management of 1.48 million hectares of Cambodia’s forests

To address these challenges, Tetra Tech implements the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Morodok Baitang (meaning “Green Heritage” in Khmer) Activity in the forests and communities around four of Cambodia’s most biologically significant protected areas. Tetra Tech is leading an innovative approach to promote conservation-friendly, climate-smart, and socially equitable market systems development in partnership with conservation organizations, development non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector partners. It will support the long-term viability of these protected areas for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and the economic prosperity of Indigenous Peoples and rural communities.

USAID Morodok Baitang’s transformative approach creates incentives for market actors to produce, develop, and invest in products that mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. The activity focuses on support for several value chains and services anchored in the protected area landscapes. Strategically selected value chains include carbon offsets from reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+); organic and wildlife-friendly rice; deforestation-free cashews; and community-based ecotourism. The project engages a wide range of actors by targeting multiple sectors within the market system. It will create a market system that provides economic opportunities to businesses and rural people founded on biodiversity conservation and climate-positive practices.

Through USAID Morodok Baitang, Tetra Tech is demonstrating the viability of this development approach along the length of each targeted value chain by mobilizing investment in climate-smart businesses; developing credible monitoring systems that trace products in the value chain; providing technical support and capacity building to producer groups; and increasing engagement of local communities in conservation management. Learn more about the project’s activities.

At a glance


U.S. Agency for International Development 

Contract value


Implementation period

2021 – 2026


Environment, Biodiversity Conservation, Natural Resource Management, Market Systems

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