The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 496
[Note from the editor of the Mirror: The following is presented because it reflects a special concern for the long term negative consequences for the country of some short term present actions. The brief expositions after every one of the eleven points are explaining their meaning – it is not clear, however, from the original, which of these explanations are direct quotes, and which are reports about the statements of the Prime Minister. In spite of these formal shortcomings, the following text can have far reaching consequences for the future of the country if implemented, and they are also an important contribution to present public controversies relating to the environmental impact of some activities.]
“Phnom Penh: Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen presented some key points and recommendations relating to possible challenges in the future for natural resources and some environmental activities, during a conference on the environment looking back at the year 2006. The meeting also set some goals for 2007. His recommendations are as follows:
- “Strategies and Action Plans: Plans and strategies should be revised every three years to promote agriculture, forestry, fishery, and biodiversity in natural and in protected forests.
- “Conservation and protection of protected natural resources: Samdech Prime Minister emphasized that offenders must be held fully responsible. Actions have already been taken against those who committed offenses in Vireakchey Park and in Koh Kong Province.
- “Strengthening the management of protected national resources and related communities: To successfully and effectively achieve these goals, local people should participate in the implementation of related programs. Samdech Prime Minister recommended that the Ministry of Environment should work with officials at all levels to create community statutes for their management and to ensure equity in receiving benefits from protected natural resources.
- “Management of core centers for the Tonle Sap: Proper protection will bring in more income for development activities.
- “Management of Wetland Areas: Legal instruments should be established to ensure effective implementation with the participation of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.
- “Management along coastal areas: The Prime Minister underlined that laws need to be reinforced to eliminate anarchy along the coastal areas. He added that all kinds of offenses must be rooted out. Illegal land ownerships must be returned to state property status.
- “Assess Sources of Impacts: Samdech Hun Sen encouraged the Ministry of Environment to transparently assess impacts of any investment projects.
- “Management of Industrial Waste: The Prime Minister ordered a strict enforcement to avoid pollution. The Ministry of Environment must establish legal instruments to control imported chemical substances.
- “Education and Dissemination of information: Education on the environment should be mainstreamed into public and private school curricula.
- “Duties of local authorities: It is hard to believe that local authorities do not know about offenses committed in their communities. Some authorities do not cooperate well with the Ministry of Environment but have to improve.
- “International Cooperation: We need to cooperate with other countries in the regions as agreed in the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development held in South Africa.”
Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5971, 20 February 2007