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Fourth national environment report set for publication

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Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the report will aid policymakers. Environment Ministry

Fourth national environment report set for publication

The Ministry of Environment is to publish the fourth national environment report for distribution to the Kingdom’s ministries and institutions, as well as national and international civil society organisations.

With relevant bodies having finished consultations, the report, to be published in Khmer and English later this year, will include environment-related data for use by various organisations and the public.

Officials from the Ministry of Environment, other ministries and relevant institutions, as well as national and international universities, met at a consultative workshop at a leading Phnom Penh hotel on October 27 to discuss the draft of the report.

Chuop Parish, director-general of the General Department of Environmental Knowledge and Information at the Ministry of Environment, said that as the ministry had invited the contributions of national and international advisers, the fourth report would have greater input than the third.

The latest report includes seven main points – air quality, climate change, biodiversity, freshwater, land use and quality, waste (both solid and liquid) and food security. Information on these topics is to be compiled for ministries, relevant institutions, civil society organisations and the public for use in environment-related research.

“Relevant institutions and partner organisations can use this report to avoid using different data. The report will be published in Khmer and English later this year,” he said.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said at the workshop that, with the report of great importance to Cambodia, the relevant bodies – who were required to provide ideas and share information for its production – had completed consultations.

While the Ministry of Environment organised and coordinated the work, its benefits will be for Cambodia as a whole, he added, while all ministries, institutions and national and international organisations can use the data contained.

“This report has compiled data and scientific information on the environment and natural resources for policymakers, planners, managers, researchers, investors and national and international organisations to use as a basis. It will hopefully assist them in accomplishing their goals – for example, sustainable development decisions in line with the national policy programme – and increase knowledge in the environmental sector,” Pheaktra said.

Pen Bunna, a local community empowerment programme officer at rights group Adhoc, said that while he did not yet know the contents of the report, he wasn’t confident it would include information on forest crimes, illegal logging, environmental pollution, land encroachment or other issues.

“I am yet to have faith that the fourth report on the national environmental situation will include complete information. I suspect it will merely contain the achievements the Ministry of Environment wants to show, without revealing any issues to the public,” he said.

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