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Asean states seek to protect regional oceans

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
The project will protect regional oceans. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A project involving several Asean member countries was launched during high-level talks in Indonesia yesterday with the aim of increasing marine environmental protection in Southeast Asia.

The project, entitled Marine Environment Protection for Southeast Asian Seas, was launched during a three-day meeting in Bali attended by delegations from seven Asean countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The project will implement key International Maritime Organisation environmental protection treaties.

Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the four-year project will focus on enhancing member countries’ capacity to implement a number of high-priority treaties, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships; the Anti-Fouling Systems convention; the London Dumping of Wastes at Sea convention and protocol; and the Ballast Water Management convention.

Jose Matheickal, deputy director of IMO, said that the project demonstrates his organisation’s commitment to the region.

“The project is a clear demonstration of our continued commitment with Asean countries to move towards a more sustainable maritime transport system and to address significant marine environmental issues,” he said.

The project will promote national legal and policy developments and related capacity building in ports, and flag state inspections to support the enforcement of treaties, he added.

The project is also expected to support biological training, the Green Shipping-Green Port-Green Shipyards initiative by the Philippines, and the holding of a regional maritime technology conference, among other activities.

Va Simsorya, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said that the project will make maritime transport sustainable.

“It’s related to how to protect the marine environment, particularly from shipping firms which must cooperate,” Mr Simsorya said, referring to pollution in regional oceans.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said during the opening ceremony of a seaport in Sihanoukville on Monday that Cambodia’s ports are going to be busy with activities regarding the export and import of goods.

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