Cambodian Environment Minister welcomes forest cooperatives

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Tokyo – Minister of the Environment Ean Sophales reiterated Cambodia’s position on the management of natural resources, including the launch of a campaign to distribute one million saplings annually to the public for tree planting.

This initiative aims to develop the conscience of people, especially students, and encourage them to love and care for the Kingdom’s forests.

The remarks came during his bilateral meeting with Juliet Biao, Executive Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), on December 9. The talks took place on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC) COP-28 in Dubai. ,United Arab Emirates.

In a post on social media on December 10, Mr. Sofares said that the meeting was an opportunity to hear explanations about UNFF’s activities, including the expected outcomes at the upcoming 19th UNFF meeting to be held in New York City, USA. explained.

The two sides also discussed opportunities to foster cooperation, particularly in afforestation activities, and considered ways to mobilize finance for forest protection. The Minister also explained the purpose of the 1 million bottle campaign.

The ministry said it is 100 percent committed to taking legal action against those found to have committed crimes related to natural resources.

“We have just introduced our 2023-28 circular environment strategy, which prioritizes plastic reduction campaigns. The campaign has received wide support and participation from teachers, students, workers and more, reaching 3.4 million people. are participating,” he added.

The Environment Ministry post said Biao praised the minister for starting the current campaign.

“[They] “This is a wise way to inspire the people to join the government in protecting the environment and protecting natural resources for the long-term benefit of all Cambodians,” she was quoted as saying.

She also expressed her intention to cooperate with the Ministry in the management of natural resources, by studying and considering possibilities for closer cooperation.

Mr. Sofares confirmed that the Ministry welcomes all development partners, private sector representatives or other stakeholders who wish to participate in the implementation of the circular environmental strategy.

Environmental activist Sang Mara of the Cambodia Youth Network (CYN) said on December 10 that without effective mechanisms to prevent forest crime, planting saplings alone will not be enough to prevent forest loss. . Forests are disappearing quickly. Therefore, he could not balance the two.

“To encourage people to love forests, the environment and all natural resources, governments must stop portraying environmentalists and forest defenders as adversaries and politicians. The environment is a concern for all humanity. “The government should encourage people to play a brave role in protecting the environment.”

He suggested that to balance natural resource management, the government should start new development projects in areas that do not pose a threat to forests and other natural resources. The government should develop and invest in idle land instead of forest areas.

“Furthermore, the government should guarantee the people’s right to protect the environment,” he said.

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