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World Environment Day observed

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Villagers collect rubbish in Preah Dak commune of Siem Reap’s Banteay Srey district on May 24. Banteay Srey district administration

World Environment Day observed

Marking World Environment Day on June 5, Minister of Environment Say Sam Al called on local authorities to encourage people to dispose of garbage properly to avoid harming people’s health and the environment.

“The environment ministry requests that the local authorities promote participation in sanitation, tree planting and packaging garbage properly to avoid improper burning of litter or disposal of garbage that may affect human and animal health and environmental quality,” Sam Al said in a statement seen by The Post on May 3.

Sam Al also suggested that ministries, institutions, schools, pagodas and hospitals all participate in disseminating these messages through poster competitions in schools, tree planting, cleaning and sanitation campaigns both inside and outside the premises of their facilities.

He also called on the owners of resorts, entertainment centres, restaurants and eateries to pay attention to proper solid and liquid waste management while participating in sanitation, energy saving, and protection of biodiversity and natural resources.

Sam Al also asked for the media to help to promote environmental values and important policies related to the environment to the public to increase awareness and encourage public participation in environmental and natural resource protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post on June 3 that his ministry was asking all government institutions, the private sector, civil society organisations, national and international development partners, local communities and other stakeholders to cooperate together to protect the environment in the spirit of June 5.

The day also aims to promote public health, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, sustainable natural resource management, and inspire people and stakeholders to engage with nature and improve the quality and beauty of cities and other places.

The World Environment Day celebration on June 5 in Cambodia is held annually in the provinces and capital, requiring national events to be held at different locations across the country with the participation of the government, businesses, NGOs and people from all walks of life in accordance with the annual theme set by the UN Environment Programme.

Stung Treng provincial hall spokesperson Men Kung told The Post on June 3 that due to Covid 19 his province will observe the day on a smaller scale than in past years.

“We will broadcast [related] messages on radio and television and there may be a radio programme with a discussion and remarks by a number of honorary speakers to help send the message to our people to participate in maintaining and ensuring the sustainability of the environment and sanitation in Stung Treng,” he said.

San Mala, advocacy officer for the Forest Defenders Project at Cambodia Youth Network, told The Post on June 3 that the environment ministry should launch a large-scale and intensive campaign to raise awareness about the issues surrounding pollution and waste to the public so they understand the importance of proper garbage disposal for increasing the living standards and the beauty of Cambodia’s cities, while also advocating for increased urban inspections by ministry officials.

“Is there rubbish being littered on the streets or is there improper rubbish dumping? Are the number of rubbish bins provided enough for the public to dispose of their waste? And more particularly are there enough for the residents of each house to be able to take their garbage to the public rubbish bin,” Mala questioned.

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