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'Green forum' drafts strategy

'Green forum' drafts strategy

A strategy for Cambodia's environmental future was discussed at a conference in Phnom

Penh this week.

The Cambodia Environmental Advisory Team (CEAT), a UNDP-supported project, organised

the"First National Workshop on Environment and Development".

Starting Dec.1 the three-day, invitation-only event brought together representatives

from governments, NGOs, international organizations and the media.

Camille Bann, resources economist at CEAT, said the aim was "to see who's doing

things and to find out where there's an information gap".

"We hope that the workshop will set a process in train in which everyone will

work together.

"We want to work with NGOs who have experience in this field."

Presentations were made on areas such as forestry, energy, fisheries and coastal

development.

Other papers discussed water, irrigation, biodiversity and conservation, wildlife

protection, environmental awareness and public participation.

But there were no presentations on the vital issue of logging and no analysis of

the National Parks Plan.

Originally, workshop organizers planned to have presentations from each of the country's

21 provinces but not every province came forward and the conference was divided into

issues instead.

According to Ms Bann, information is scanty at all levels and the conference aimed

to start plugging the knowledge gaps.

The workshop is the first step towards a "State of the Environment Report"

which should be published by March.

It will reflect the most up to date and accurate information on the Cambodian environment.

It is hoped the report will assist donors and investors in compiling policies and

projects which promote the sustainable development of Cambodia's resources.

CEAT also hopes that the workshop will become an annual event.

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