Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Low rating in environment policy index

Low rating in environment policy index

Low rating in environment policy index

CAMBODIA’S environmental policies are the worst in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new global report that placed the Kingdom at number 148 of 163 countries.

The 2010 Environment Performance Index (EPI), compiled by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities in the US, quantifies the environmental impacts of a country’s policies by assessing 25 factors, and then assigns each country a corresponding value of zero to 100, with 100 the most positive rating.

Cambodia received an overall EPI rating of 41.7. Its lowest ratings came in the areas of environmental burden of disease (27.8) and environmental health (28.8), whereas it fared better in the areas of agriculture (54.6), fisheries (50) and forestry (48.9).

The Kingdom scored well in the areas of biodiversity and habitat (81.7) and the effects of water on ecosystems (95).

The new ratings, released late last month, represented a drop from the last EPI, released in 2008. That year, Cambodia earned an overall EPI of 53.8 and ranked 136th worldwide.

Cambodia scored extremely low in the sub-categories of indoor air pollution (4.2) and water sanitation (19.2).

According to the Ministry of Health, cholera and acute watery diarrhoea deaths this year in a handful of provinces have been caused by the consumption of unclean water.

Hilda Winarta, a water, sanitation and hygiene specialist at Unicef, said Monday that the most recent census figures indicate that “access to improved drinking water sources was 42 percent in rural areas”. She added that poor water quality could lead to diarrhoea, which was the second most common cause of death for children under the age of 5.

Tin Ponlok, project coordinator at the Environment Ministry, said Monday he was unaware of the report, but that the ministry would release its own environmental assessment later this month.

Prach Sun, a secretary of state at the ministry, also said he had not seen the report, but added that reports produced abroad generally do not match government data.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at