The EU Delegation to Cambodia and the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport are inviting members of the public to participate in the “Pedal for the Planet” cycling tour in Phnom Penh on March 3 to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and climate action.

The event was jointly organised by the EU in Cambodia, the ministry and Phnom Penh City Hall, in partnership with EuroCham. EU ambassador to Cambodia Igor Driesmans and ministry secretary of state Vath Chamroeun will preside over the event.

The tour aims to drive forward the climate action agenda through ‘pedal power’ and all members of the public are welcome to attend.

“It is mandatory for all participants to register on the Pedal for the Planet website. They should bring their own bicycle and wear a cycling helmet – a recommendation that is strongly made,” said the EU in Cambodia in a February 29 press release.

The cycling tour will start at Phnom Penh’s National Olympic Stadium before traversing Preah Sihanouk Boulevard, Independence Monument, Preah Norodom Boulevard (with a water station available at the EU Delegation), Wat Phnom, Rue Pasteur 51 (Street 51), the Central Market and finally Charles De Gaulle Boulevard.

“The cycle ride will end where it begins, at the stadium. Roads will be blocked to motor vehicle traffic throughout the full route, ensuring the safety of the riders. Ambulances will accompany cyclists along the tour. Prior to setting off, organisers will also conduct safety briefings for those taking part and additional water stations will be provided at key stopping points along the route,” it said.

Driesmans urged everyone interested in sustaining and preserving the health of the environment to join the event, saying that it is an initiative that both citizens and institutions are working on together.

He said the initiative shows the commitment the EU has toward the taking of an “all-inclusive approach” toward the maintenance and preservation of the planet’s health.

“We are grateful for the participation and support for this initiative from the education ministry, Phnom Penh City Hall, representatives from Cambodia’s sporting associations, our fellow diplomats and, of course, the members of the public who will join us in this worthwhile cause. Every pedal moves us towards a healthier planet!” said Driesmans.

Education minister Hang Chuon Naron thanked the EU, Phnom Penh City Hall and members of Cambodia’s diplomatic corps for “leading the way with this collaborative effort” to be part of a global movement that aims topromote cleaner, greener ways of commuting and living, while also helping to maintain and preserve the“wonderful” environment.

“We welcome the participation of the nation’s students and young people,” he was quoted as saying in the press release.

A delegation from the Cambodian Cycling Federation (CCF) will participate as will members of Cambodia’s diplomatic corps which includes representatives from international organisations and foreign missions, according to the release.

To foster sustainability, the first 1,000 attendees will receive a customised T-shirt and are encouraged to make use of sustainable items and refillable bottles rather than plastic and disposable glasses, it said.

“In keeping with the overall theme of the event, participants will also be treated to food and drink – to be served and consumed with plastic-free plates, cups and utensils. Materials produced for the event, such as backdrops and banners, will be recycled after the tour.

“By taking part, participants will be making a powerful statement for sustainability by highlighting how individual efforts can collectively make a significant impact on our planet's health,” said the press release.

The tour’s theme, “It is Time to Change Gears on Climate”, aims to raise climate awareness and foster sustainable urban living. It is also intended to encourage the participation of the community in eco-friendly activities.