The APSARA National Authority (ANA) announced that it held a February 15 internal workshop on the Angkor Environmental Management System (AEMS) and its accompanying book, to bolster environmental protection at the sprawling temple complex in Siem Reap province.

The ANA noted in a statement that the workshop was presided over by Sok Leakena, a representative of its director-general Hang Peou, and attended by “62 officials from the Department of Water, Forestry and Infrastructure Management, the Department of Tourism Development and Culture, and the Department of Public Order of [the ANA]”.

Workshops concerning the AEMS, and the implementation of its individual components, are typically held four times a year to acquaint newer officers and staff with the environmental issues facing Angkor Archaelogical Park, and to ensure that daily work in the area is up to applicable standards, the statement said.

The February 15 event provided loads of information pertaining to irrigation management and environmental concerns at the Angkor area in an easy-to-understand presentation, public order department trainee Prang Len said in the statement.

Participants are keen to apply what they learned at the event to improve day-to-day work, he affirmed, suggesting that beautification and environmental stewardship would be key to encouraging repeat visitors.

Also speaking in the statement, tourism agent Phoeung Sophan highlighted the importance of the workshop for daily life in the local community as well as work.

He opined that environmental management must begin with teamwork aimed at mitigating eco-risks that could potentially undermine the associated value of the temples and the quality of tourists' experiences.

The workshop was delivered by ANA experts on the Angkor site, water management of the area, and the authority’s environmental policy, the statement added.