The government reshuffled members of the National Committee for Coastal Management and Development in late January, according to a government statement received by The Post on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen continues to serve as the committee’s honorary president, while Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara is the committee’s president. Minister of Environment Say Sam Al will be deputy president, while Minister of Tourism Thong Khon continues as the permanent deputy president.
Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction spokesman Seng Lot told The Post on Tuesday that the reform was made as some members have to change positions or need to hold another position in a different ministry.
“As some secretaries of state at the ministries need to work in a different ministry or they need to take new positions, these people can no longer fulfil their old positions anymore, so new candidates from those ministries will replace them. In short, this is normal,” he said.
The government created the committee in February 2012 in order to prepare policies, strategic plans, master plans, action plans, programmes and other projects relating to the management and development of Cambodia’s coastal areas.
They are tasked with preparing laws and key principles to ensure the management, development and preservation of coastal areas with transparency, equity and environmental sustainability.
Monitor, prevent and take necessary measures in order to avoid all activities which affect the environment and natural resources at the coastal area.
Cambodian National Research Organisation (CNRO) director Sok Sokhom said the committee should accelerate its activities in preventing coastal land grabbing, a problem that has particularly plagued Preah Sihanouk province in recent years as it has undergone rapid development.
“In the past, the loss of coastal areas through land grabbing was properly challenged with legal measures,” he said.