China signs environment pacts

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Rubbish clogging a canal in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia and China have strengthened cooperation on environmental protection with plans to improve urban waste water treatment.

The commitment was made at a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony attended by officials from Cambodia’s Environment Ministry and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment yesterday.

Pollution of urban water is one of Cambodia’s challenges that the government has been taking action to overcome.

At the ceremony, the Cambodian and Chinese sides signed MoUs on a project to supply wastewater treatment equipment.

Environment Minister Say Samal said the agreements opened a new page of history for Cambodia and China. This was especially the case in resolving environmental issues for both countries.

“The documents that were signed have set a clear direction in line with the policy of the Cambodian Environment Ministry for the environmental sector,” Mr Samal said. “I hope the two sides will be able to solve common environmental problems between the two countries and the world.”

Undersecretary of state at the ministry Eang Sophalleth said Cambodia faces environmental issues and water treatment is one of them.

“We have a lot of factories operating in Cambodia, and most of them release toxic waste into our rivers and lakes,” Mr Sophalleth said. “Some of them have treated wastewater properly, while some have not.”

“As a solution, we have conducted a full preliminary environmental impact study on all the factories and companies, and have drafted regulations to strengthen waste disposal, especially liquid waste into our rivers and lakes,” he added.

He asked the Chinese side to share experiences in managing the water environment in the city to ensure the quality of water.

Chinese Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection Zhao Yingmin said the Chinese government had paid attention to environment and ecology protection.

In the last five years, it had launched a number of policies and strategies that gave it a lot of experience and technical expertise on environmental protection and managing city water.

“We will share that experience and technology with Cambodia in cooperation on environmental protection,” he said.

Mr Zhao is on a three-day visit to Cambodia to enhance cooperation in environmental management between the two countries.

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