To mark World Environment Day on Wednesday, the ministries of Environment, and Education, Youth and Sport jointly held an event in the compound of Prum Nimith Primary School in Poipet, Banteay Meanchey province, to raise people’s awareness of air pollution and its impact on health.
“The celebration focused on prevention and reduction of air pollution caused by fossil fuel as well as burning of rubbish and the forests”, the Ministry of Environment said.
It called on the relevant stakeholders, including the private sector and grassroots communities, to join the government in finding sustainable solutions to the problem.
“The environmental work is the responsibility of all of society,” Ministry of Environment Secretary of State Mom Thany was quoted on Monday on the ministry’s Facebook page as saying.
She urged the “stakeholders” to explore the appropriate measures to maintain sustainable survival of the planet and societies.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport spokesperson Ros Soveacha said a good environment could have a positive effect on the quality of learning and teaching.
“The ministry has advocated environmental work through the introduction of the clean school competition, for instance."
“We have also integrated environmental content into the school curriculum,” he said, referring to the inclusion of “Earth and Ecology” as one of the core subjects from Grade 7 to Grade 12.
He said the ministry intends to include environmental content into other subjects, such as Khmer and social studies as well.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Cambodia’s Facebook post on Wednesday said air pollution was affecting all humans, with the poorest being the worst victims.
“Today is #WorldEnvironmentDay; United Nations Development Programme – UNDP is pledging to #BeatAirPollution and support governments to invest in policies and clean technology that benefits us all,” the UN agency said.
Citing World Health Organisation figures, the Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) said on Monday that in the region, 376,000 people are killed annually because of indoor air pollution, while another and 149,000 died annually from outdoor air pollution.
Everyone needs to rely on biodiversity and ecosystems that are rich in the planet, Dr Theresa Mundita S Lim, ACB executive director was quoted as saying.
“They are sources of water and food to provide medicinal raw materials, shelter, and natural capital for trade and industry. But this richness is threatened by pollution, one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystems degradation,” she said.
Dr Lim said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) sets out five factors that contribute to air pollution – home, industry, transportation, agriculture and waste.
“Most causes of air pollution come from human activities. But humans can also be the solution to this global problem,” she said.
Practices of green lifestyles and behaviour, Dr Lim said, could be the solutions to the problem.
“Let us all promote green living by decreasing our carbon footprints, using environment-friendly products, clean technology and renewable energy to help ensure healthy biodiversity and ecosystems that will contribute to sustainable development, human development and human survival,” she said.