The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) has requested the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) to co-organise a meeting on land release non-technical survey (LRNTS) projects.
Working with development partners and national and international demining operators, the meeting would define land clearance procedures for mine-free areas by 2025.
The LRNTS method can release areas of land without the need for physically clearing them and is significantly less costly.
CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch made the request during a meeting with NPA director Rune Kristian Dale-Andresen on partnership and cooperation in the field of mine action in Cambodia.
Thuch, on behalf of the government, thanked Norway for standing with Cambodia for 30 years since 1992 when it launched its mine action programme in the Kingdom.
NPA is a strategic and long-term partner in the clearance of mines and cluster munitions, supporting the capacity building of CMAA, as well as the effective management and coordination of mine action in Cambodia.
Over the past 30 years, the nature of mine clearance in Cambodia had changed significantly in line with the Kingdom's development, Thuch said, with LRNTS now an important method for tackling explosive remnants of war (ERW).
“I have asked the NPA to continue to expand the LRNTS team as soon as possible to help speed up the reduction of landmines and cluster munitions.
“I also requested NPA to cooperate with CMAA to hold a meeting on LRNTS projects with development partners and national and international demining operators to define land clearing procedures for demining by 2025,” Thuch said at the meeting.
Dale-Andresen said the NPA is currently assisting in the implementation of LRNTS projects in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and had been seeking additional resources from the donor community and development partners to continue supporting LRNTS procedures.
“NPA will continue to engage with the Royal Government of Cambodia in demining/cluster munitions and capacity building for the mine action sector in Cambodia,” he said.
On the 32nd German National Day on October 3, Thuch requested Germany to continue supporting the removal of ERW to achieve the goal of a mine-free Cambodia by 2025 in accordance with the National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2018-2025.
He also called on other “friendly” countries and mine action partners as well as civil society organisations and philanthropic donors to maintain a common vision on humanitarian mine action with the Cambodian government.
They included Australia, Japan, the US, the UK, Norway, Switzerland, China, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, Ireland, India, Hungary, UNDP and UNICEF.