The Ministry of Environment held a March 22 press conference with tourism firm All Dreams Cambodia on the protection of the Kingdom’s natural resources and sustainable development that is resilient to climate change in conjunction with private tourism-linked businesses.

Ministry secretary of state Chuop Paris said the press conference marked a milestone event for all participants, showing their commitment to jointly address these issues.

“We’ve gathered to change our priority plans and cooperate to achieve our shared goals for the present and future generations,” he said.

He continued that the ministry’s mission is to manage and protect natural resources for all generations of Cambodian people. To that end, the training and integration of the tourism sector, as well as the activities of civil society organisations, will be necessary to protect natural resources and beautify Cambodia.

Jacques Guichandut, managing director of All Dreams (Cambodia) Co Ltd, said the Kingdom is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and that plastic pollution is part of the problem. In Phnom Penh alone, around 10 million plastic bags are used every day.

He added that much of the plastic used in tourism is made to be thrown away and often cannot be recycled, leading to large amounts of pollution and landfill waste. The production of more than 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year also depletes natural resources and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

“Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of our time and tourists have an important role to play in contributing to solutions,” he said.

He added that All Dreams Cambodia has been working towards sustainable tourism for many years and has taken into account the impacts that the industry has on the environment.

“We are committed to respecting our community and society by reducing our carbon. We focus on the wellbeing of animals and we make it our purpose that every new trip we develop will do something to protect the environment. We help locals develop their livelihoods and contribute in every possible way to making our country and our planet a better place,” he said.

Jacques added that All Dreams Cambodia promoted the purchase of locally made handicrafts and souvenirs to generate income for the local community and the company also ensures access to energy and water to local communities by encouraging more responsible use.

“We have purchased treated water from Teuk Saat 1001, a local organisation, and donated money so that each of our customers provides one year of free clean drinking water to families with children,” he said.

He added that the company encouraged its staff to use public transport, e-bikes or walk whenever possible and also try their best to buy products that have geographical indication labels on them.