Phnom Penh, September 29, 2023 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reaffirmed it’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Environment’s priority initiatives. In a meeting with H.E. Dr. Eang Sophalleth, Minister of Environment, Kristin Parco, Head of the IOM Mission in Cambodia, conveyed the United Nations’ (UN) pledge to back the Ministry’s prioritized initiatives.
Ms. Parco sought the Minister’s endorsement for a comprehensive research project on environmental and climate change in the Tonle Sap area. “The successful execution of the project depends on close collaboration and technical assistance from experts within the Ministry of Environment,” she added.
In response, the Minister expressed gratitude for the Ministry’s ongoing support for priority initiatives and provided recommendations to expedite the research process. The goal is to ensure swift and efficient responses to existing environmental challenges. Additionally, the Minister urged the IOM to broaden its focus to include the conservation of fish resources in the Tonle Sap Lake, a vital aspect for Cambodia’s ecological balance that has historically been overlooked.
Furthermore, the Minister emphasized the significance of the Ministry’s plastic waste management strategy. He proposed an initial step to reduce the use of plastic bags for at least one day every week, allowing for a gradual shift in people’s plastic bag usage habits and eventually eliminating their use entirely.
This dual-purpose strategy aims to eliminate plastic waste in rural and cities across Cambodia and enhance the attractiveness of urban and rural areas to tourists. These environmentally conscious initiatives will benefit Cambodia’s diverse recreational sites, including burgeoning ecotourism destinations.
Ms. Kristin Parco expressed her alignment with the Minister’s vision and praised his leadership, extensive experience, creative thinking, and proactive approach to these priority initiatives. She believes that the Ministry’s strategies will yield positive outcomes in the near future.
It is important to highlight that the Ministry of Environment’s key priorities include waste management, comprehensive rehabilitation and reforestation efforts to increase forest cover by 60%, and the improvement of community livelihoods for sustainable development. The IOM’s commitment further strengthens these initiatives, symbolizing a collective determination to safeguard Cambodia’s environment for present and future generations.