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PM requests Asean environment effort

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Prime Minister Hun Sen (third from right) on Monday poses with Asean Plus Three leaders during the 22nd Asean-Japan Summit in Bangkok on the sidelines of the 35th Asean Summit. AFP

PM requests Asean environment effort

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday requested that the Asean and Asean Plus Three bloc share their experiences on environmental protection and sustainable development at the Asean Summit in Bangkok, his official Facebook page said.

Hun Sen said members needed to share skills, understanding and human resource development strategies with countries in dire need of capacity building in those areas.

Six of the 20 countries most at-risk of climate change-related disasters are in Asean, including Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, according to the Asean Cooperation on Climate Change.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in a statement on Sunday that Asean “looked forward to enhancing cooperation in addressing climate change, disaster management, environmental protection and sustainable development to strengthen the resilience of the region”.

Having chaired the 22nd Asean-China Summit, he said in his statement: “We appreciated China’s commitment to supporting Asean in building capacity in disaster management capabilities of Asean Member States and AHA Centre [the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management] through the Project Arrangement on Disaster Management Cooperation.”

Prayut, who also chaired the 10th Asean-UN summit, said on Sunday that the bloc welcomed the world body’s support for the AHA Centre, a regional office that coordinates conservation and sustainability efforts among member states.

“We appreciated the UN’s continued support for Asean’s vision of disaster and climate-resilient communities including its aims in reducing vulnerability to disaster and climate-related risks, including but not limited to various natural hazards, haze pollution, extreme weather events and climate change leads to growing frequency and severity of disasters, protecting forests and biodiversity, sea-level rise, and preserving environmental flows in the region,” the statement said.

Cambodian Youth Network deputy president Sar Mory said on Monday he was encouraged by Hun Sen’s request, saying that the Asean Plus Three – which includes South Korea, Japan and China – had a lot of development plans for the region.

He said the Kingdom had experienced several companies that did not have clear strategies for managing their environmental impact and as a result, firms would not restore the environment after they completed their projects.

“To improve this situation, all Asean Plus Three countries have to be committed to implementing their environmental policies and social protection.

“The government of Cambodia has to do significant monitoring, more particularly [it must] conduct transparent inspections while development projects are in process,” Mory said.

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