Minister of Environment Say Samal called for the effective use of natural resources, noting that they must be carefully managed and used for the benefit of the Cambodian people because of their limited availability and supply.
“We need to use Cambodia’s natural resources to improve the standard of living of our population, in the same manner as every other nation has done as its own economy developed. We also know that these resources are limited, and so we must find innovative ways to use them more efficiently and sustainably,” his statement read.
Samal – who also serves as the chairperson for the National Council for Sustainable Development – released this statement to coincide with the launching of the Asian Vision Institute’s sustainable development goals conference held via webinar on April 26.
He further noted that technological solutions exist that could assist Cambodia with issues related to sustainable use of natural resources in the energy sector, construction, transportation, water management and agriculture.
He stated that the protection and conservation of natural resources can also deliver added value to the Cambodian economy and enhance people’s livelihoods. As an example, he cited eco-tourism while cautioning that it is highly dependent on the successful preservation of Cambodia’s natural ecosystems.
“Thus, providing … communities with better and sustainable livelihoods and better economic opportunities, promoting agro-industries like cashews and soft-wood plantations, and securing market access for trade on favourable terms are some of the innovative and strategic approaches we consider viable means to address this complex nexus of issues related to use of natural resources,” Samal wrote in summary.
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