The government and five UN agencies have agreed to perform an in-depth study of green economy development in the Kingdom to support improvements to its relevant policies in line with changing trends and new developments in this sector.
The agreement was reached on July 4 at a virtual meeting led by Minister of Environment Say Samal, who is also president of the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), and Asad Naqvi, head of the secretariat of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).
The meeting was attended by senior officials and other representatives from the environment ministry and representatives from the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Samal said the meeting was held to discuss cooperation on green economy transformation (GET) for Cambodia.
“Cambodia is interested in promoting GET and Asad Naqvi requested an in-depth discussion with our national experts and to conduct a clear study of what Cambodia needs or should do to promote GET in our economic system,” he said.
Naqvi briefed the meeting on global experiences with promoting other economic sectors to foster a changeover to a green economy as well as address the issue of climate change, biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency and efficient resource consumption in gross domestic product (GDP) to generate income, jobs and strengthen the foundation of ecological economics.
Naqvi said the Switzerland-based UNITAR would play a crucial role in coordinating with the Cambodian government on this topic. As a result, both sides had agreed to an in-depth study of green economy development in Cambodia to determine which activities and what recommendations and policies should be in place with the Kingdom’s NCSD as coordinator with PAGE.
Both sides agreed to further discussions at the political level for determining strategies, starting points and coordination in green economy implementation.
Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said UNITAR would play a crucial role in communications between all of the concerned parties.
He added that this was the first meeting between the UN agencies and the environment minister along with representatives from the ministries of Economy and Finance; Mines and Energy; Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; Labour and Vocational Training; and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).
“After this meeting, the technical teams from the relevant ministries – in coordination with the environment ministry – will continue to discuss with PAGE the details of the technical work and ask the minister’s permission for its implementation in stages,” he said.
Pheaktra added that the common purpose of PAGE was to support preparations and improve policies and their implementation by the government in line with changing trends in green economy approaches, which stimulate economic development, ensure social inclusion and environmental protection and achieve Cambodia’s sustainable development goals.
He said they also make a national contribution to implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and advancing the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Pheaktra noted that the potential of building frameworks for cooperation in partnerships for green economic activities included green investment, finance and trade, green technology development, green job creation and promoting resources efficiency.
He added that another potential activity is to develop industry and green small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), sustainable primary production, support for natural resource management in workplace communities and strategic environmental assessments for natural protected areas, biodiversity corridors and sustainable urban development.