The Ministry of Environment and Kep Provincial Hall urge vendors and the general public to reduce plastic use and dispose of garbage properly to maintain the beauty of the coastal province, attract greater numbers of tourists and improve livelihoods.
The call came at the close of a last week meeting reviewing the environment department’s 2022 results and setting the direction for next year.
Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said after the meeting that the government had set strategies to develop tourism in coastal provinces, with Kep designated a destination for higher-end tourism.
To achieve strategic goals and protect and enhance Kep’s natural beauty, all technical officials need to carry out their duties professionally, proactively and responsibly, he said, and again reminded the public and vendors to reduce plastic usage and cut down on waste.
“Vendors as well as the general public need to play their part in reducing plastic use and turn to environmentally friendly bags and containers.
“A simple switch to reusable, eco-friendly products will result in significant benefits for people’s health and welfare, and stop the accumulation of plastic waste in the province, particularly on its beaches and islands, maintaining Kep’s beauty and prestige,” Pheaktra said.
Pheaktra hailed the department’s efforts in helping beautify the province and expand service provision for tourists, making it even more attractive to visitors.
Provincial governor Som Piseth attributed Kep’s environmental achievements to the efforts of its officials in protecting the environment and conserving nature.
He said Kep factored in environmental considerations as it developed infrastructure and the provincial town expanded.
“The environmental considerations we take have made a significant contribution to making Kep a green town, green province and a green environment, with environmentally friendly agriculture and beautiful beaches.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen has named the Kingdom’s coastal provinces the ‘Rising Star of the Southwest’ under the slogan ‘Green beaches in the future are the present’.
“Tourism in Keo plays an important role in improving people’s livelihoods through selling local produce and products to restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and resorts catering to national and international tourists.
“This contributes significantly to poverty reduction in line with the government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase IV,” Piseth said.
The governor said the provincial authorities have paid close attention to protecting the environment, cooperating with the relevant departments, institutions, national and international organisations, residents and the private sector.
To protect the environment and conserve Kep’s natural resources for future generations, the provincial administration and the environment ministry planted 12, 000 mangrove tree saplings in the Thmey Village Fishing Community Beach Area in Kep town’s Prey Thom commune, he added.
The action was part of efforts to mitigate climate change impacts, attract greater numbers of tourists and conserve biodiversity, and promote the wise and sustainable use of natural resources.