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Ministry’s forum discusses economy role in green push

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Environment minister Say Samal presides over the forum on natural resource protection and preservation on December 20. ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY

Ministry’s forum discusses economy role in green push

The Ministry of Environment on December 20 held a forum on the protection and conservation of natural resources under the theme “Diversification of Businesses to increase the Local Economy”, aiming to promote innovative business diversification.

The forum was attended by officials from relevant state institutions, municipal and provincial authorities, community networks and partner organisations.

Environment minister Say Samal said it was a very important forum for dialogue between communities and the state, and would allow closer cooperation between all parties.

Samal encouraged the communities to continue planting crops and raising animals to ensure their economic and food security.

“The peace and political stability that we are enjoying today is a golden opportunity to build the local economy,” he said.

He added that these factors had given Cambodia the opportunity to create more conservation areas and promote environmental protection – the pillars that would support socio-economic and cultural development.

The forum is an ongoing mechanism for reviewing the progress of participation of local communities and stakeholders in biodiversity protection and conservation, discussing and addressing challenges, and setting guidelines for participatory management and the sustainable use of natural resources in protected areas.

It aims to review the progress of participation and to discuss challenges. It was an excellent way to share knowledge, information and experiences in promoting local communities’ economic opportunities without relying on natural resources.

It also promoted community ownership and gave them – as well as stakeholders at the sub-national level – the chance to participate in conservation work.

The ministry, in collaboration with Nature Centre Risen (NCR), also opened an environmental education training course for officials from environment departments throughout the country.

The first course was conducted on October 4-6 in Preah Sihanouk province, with the second held on December 20-22 in Battambang province. They strengthened official capacity and understanding about environmental issues and methods or techniques in sharing environmental knowledge with the public, especially the youngest members of society.

“Cultivating the mindset of protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources, along with the development and implementation of legal standards, is the most effective strategy to achieve sustainable development,” said the ministry.

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