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Smart moves at CMAC

The largest demining agency in Cambodia plans to clear more than 900 square kilometres of land through manual demining, survey teams, mechanical clearance systems and mine detection dogs by 2014, it said following the 11th Meeting of State Parties to the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention last week.

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre is also marking its 20th anniversary this year. It expects to complete next year a baseline survey – co-ordinated by the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority – that will more accurately pinpoint land contaminated by mines and UXO.

It expects that the rise in funding following the 11MSP allow it to ramp up its demining efforts, after scaling them back this year when funding fell from US$11 million in 2009 to $8 million this year.

“Despite fluctuations in funding over the last few years, I feel positive about the outcomes of the 11MSP,” CMAC’s director general Heng Ratana said.

CMAC launched an initiative last year which aims to located and destroy 830,000 landmines and other explosive remnants of war by 2015. The initiative, SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound – received new funding pledges and interest at the 11MSP, CMAC said.

CMAC had released 339 square kilometres of contaminated land through clearance and surveys since 1992. It is the largest demining agency in Cambodia, and the largest single-country demining operation in the world.



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