The Senate yesterday approved a draft law to adopt the Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation’s policies to help regulate existing measures to prevent forest crimes.
The approval of the draft law followed a May 31 National Assembly session where all 112 lawmakers approved the draft law.
The Senate approved the draft law following a weeks-long deliberation and review. Senators voted to pass the draft law that could make Cambodia a full member state of AFoCO.
Oum Sarith, secretary-general of the Senate, said yesterday that the draft law was designed to improve forestry conservation policies such as rehabilitation, education and sustainable development.
He said that incorporating AFoCO’s regulations into Cambodian law will enhance partnerships between the government and other institutions to implement any approved cooperation based on international forestry agreements.
“With the ratification of the draft law, Cambodia will get many benefits through the Korea-Mekong Forest Cooperation for the cultivation and restoration of forest cover,” Mr Sairth said. “This is a direct response to the national forestry policy and Cambodia’s national development strategy.”
AFoCO’s policies were established under an inter-governmental organisation called the Mekong Forest Cooperation, whose mission is to strengthen regional forestry cooperation by transforming technology and policies impacting sustainable management to address the impact of climate change and forestry crimes.
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said yesterday that the adoption of the agreement correlated with Cambodia’s reform of the forestry sector. He added that cooperation under the Asean-Republic of Korea to improve the forest sector first began in 2012.
Cambodia has so far received more than $10 million from the Republic of South Korea for its role in the forestry sector. Opportunities have also been offered to Cambodian officials to participate in various international forums.
Mr Sakhon noted that projects worth $9 million are pending approval from South Korea.
King Norodom Sihamoni will now receive the draft law for review prior to signing it into law, making Cambodia AFoCO’s sixth member state country.