Tin Ponlok, secretary of state at the Ministry of Environment said ASEAN member states are developing sustainable socio-economic development strategies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to resist external threats such as epidemic diseases, climate change and geopolitical issues.

Environmental and natural resource management plays a key role in regional economic development, Ponlok said as he addressed the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Environment and related meetings held in Siem Reap province on October 5.

“ASEAN member states are focused on environmental work, green economy development, smart cities, sustainable infrastructure and comprehensive economic recovery, centred on sustainable production and consumption,” he said.

He continued that as the chair of ASEAN – which has set a strategy under the theme “ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together” – Cambodia is strengthening regional cooperation with all stakeholders to address environmental issues.

He said seven strategies have been put in place for environmental work, including education, the management of coastal areas, sustainable cities, chemical and water resource management, climate change and the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. Cambodia has previously implemented various multilateral agreements on the environment, especially to strengthen its commitment to action against climate change.

He said the Kingdom’s commitment is evidenced by its timely submission of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) report to the UN, noting that a long-term strategy on carbon neutrality and action as well as appropriate measures is to manage plastics and waste. Domestic and international cooperation and resource mobilisation are also utilised to manage common natural resources through carbon financing.