The Ministry of Environment will celebrate World Environment Day on June 5 to raise public awareness about the importance of the sustainable use of natural resources.
This year’s environment day is being held under the theme Biodiversity and Human Health through social media.
“This programme aims to raise public awareness of sustainable management and use of natural resources, efforts to combat climate change and managing environmental quality,” the environment ministry said in a notice on May 31.
According to the ministry, the programme also aims to promote public health, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.
A senior environment ministry official will deliver a keynote address on the day, and the ministry will prepare graphics to be posted on social media and printed as posters for public display in front of the ministry, its provincial departments and other public places.
Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on June 1 that his ministry had strengthened natural resource protection and conservation, enforced the laws under their purview and improved the lives of people in the communities within and surrounding natural protected areas as well as those lying outside of the protected areas.
“This is a mechanism to strengthen the protection and conservation effectiveness of more than 70 protected areas and biodiversity corridors with a total area of 7.3 million hectares, equivalent to 41 per cent of the land area of Cambodia,” he said.
Pheaktra said that his ministry had introduced a policy to strengthen the role of protected area communities to allow them to take greater responsibility for natural resource management and conservation.
He added that the ministry had provided new employment options to the communities and improved their livelihoods while discouraging their previous traditional occupations of logging and hunting by promoting the development of ecotourism.
He said the protection and development of protected areas had improved and the ministry had found increased success in its efforts at preserving standing trees.
He also noted that Cambodia’s carbon credits sales on the voluntary market have been a success, raking in $11.6 million in revenue from 2016-2020 to finance conservation efforts and support the development of local communities.
“The environment ministry supports the promotion of investment in tree plantations to create greenery and create a source of wood for sustainable use instead of using natural wood, reducing the pressure on natural forested areas,” Pheaktra said.
He added that his ministry had been pushing for more nuanced zoning of protected areas with designations such as core areas, conservation areas, sustainable use areas and community areas.
The ministry has also been pushing for the clear demarcation of protected areas, the registration of state land on protected areas and the strengthening of law enforcement in this regard.
He said the ministry had also established local development mechanisms by strengthening community roles and responsibility for protecting and conserving natural resources.