Cambodia: PM calls on relevant institutions and stakeholders to take tougher measures in preventing adverse impacts on rivers from illegal activities

Author: Long Kimmarita, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 18 March 2019

"Prime Minister calls for tougher measures in protecting Kingdom’s rivers", 18 March 2019

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered all relevant institutions to take tougher measures in preventing “anarchic” sand dredging, illegal fishing and the clearing of flooded forest, which he said would have an adverse impact on Cambodia’s rivers.

…, Hun Sen also called on stakeholders to jointly protect natural resources for the national interest.

“You need to seek a source of funding to prevent riverbanks collapsing and stop rivers becoming shallow, and find ways to direct the water current. You must prevent anarchic sand dredging, illegal fishing and the clearing of flooded forest that would result in our rivers losing resources and [damage them] as tourist attractions,” he said…

Yos Monirath, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, told … that over the past few years the ministry had sent its inspectorate team to crack down on a series of illegal sand dredging operations, with a number of unlicensed businesses either shut down or fined, or both…

Srey Vuthy, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, could not be reached for comment…

Hem Odom, an independent researcher …, welcomed the prime minister’s appeals for the joint protection of the rivers, which he said are vital resources for humankind…

Neam Kopy, an expert on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), said that while such offences are continuing, they have decreased compared to previous years thanks to better awareness of the issue among the public and greater action by relevant authorities…

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