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Government launches eco, biodiversity policies

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Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers 2,225sq km of forest, was designated as a protected area by royal decree in 1993. It is a diverse area of rainforests, mountainous pastures, sparse forests and wet grass fields. Post Pix

Government launches eco, biodiversity policies

The Ministry of Environment has begun implementing the policies of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an intergovernmental body which assesses the state of biodiversity in response to requests from decision makers.

IPBES was established in 2012 and currently has over 130 member states.

It aims to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human wellbeing and sustainable development.

‘Modified by human activity’

Tin Ponlok, the secretary-general of the ministry’s National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) presided over the opening ceremony of the project on Tuesday.

He said the ecosystem provides for life in four areas. First is the supply of food, medicine, timber, oil and raw materials. Second, it offers support services in the form of the nutrition cycle and shelter for animals.

Third entails services such as tourism, education and entertainment, while the fourth area, Ponlok said, involves the regulatory services provided by the ecosystem – climate management, carbon stocks, soil fertility and regulation of water flow.

“Due to the increase in the human population on Earth and other natural factors, biodiversity and the ecosystem are seriously under pressure in the region and throughout the world."

“About three-quarters of the mainland environment and about 60 per cent of the marine environment have been greatly modified by human activity."

“These tendencies are less severe or have been avoided in areas that are controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities,” he said.

A post on the Ministry of Environment’s official Facebook page on Tuesday said the IPBES project is being implemented by the Royal University of Phnom Penh in collaboration with the NCSD.

“It aims to assess the potential and function of the ecosystem – which benefits the economy, society and the general wellbeing of people on earth – to develop policies and strategies for sustainable development in line with the agenda of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services."

“The findings from this study will be used at a national consultative forum as a basis to develop strategies, policies and action plans, ultimately contributing to the conservation of the ecosystem and sustainability,” it said.

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