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Environment Ministry launches green-growth plan for capital

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh Hout Hay shakes hands with Eang Sophalleth from the ministry. KT/Pann Rachana

The Environment Ministry on Thursday launched the Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan 2018-2030 aimed at turning the capital into a clean and environmentally friendly city.

The launching ceremony was presided over by Eang Sophalleth, a secretary of state on behalf of Say Samal, Environment Minister and a representative of the chair of National Council for Sustainable Development.

The event brought together government institutions, embassies, development partners, national and international NGOs, academia and research institutions and representatives from the Union of Youth Federation of Cambodia.

“Launching this Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan 2018-2030 is very important because it serves as the main guideline for the capital’s future development,” Mr Sophalleth said.

He noted that green growth is a development model to ensure social economic development and environmental sustainability and highlight the national and international efforts of green growth practices toward sustainable development and poverty reduction.

“The Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan is a good start to serve as a role model for secondary cities,” Mr Sophalleth said.

He said that there were 48 projects in the plan ,which could be funded through bank loans.

Huot Hay, deputy Phnom Penh governor, emphasized the rapid economic growth of Phnom Penh.

He said as the economy grows and the city welcomes more people, it is important that Phnom Penh is developed sustainably for its residents.

Mr Hay also pointed out both the positive and negative consequences of rapid urbanisation which impacts economic and social development.

“Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan commits to developing city infrastructures with an environmental mindset,” he said. “Some of the challenge the city faces in this regard include traffic congestion, wastewater and increasing volumes of solid waste.”

“Climate change also affects urban areas through increased urban flooding and other environment impacts,” Mr Hay added.

Karolien Casaer, country representative of Global Green Growth Institution, outlined some of the green urban development challenges around the world and identified solutions GGGI has introduced in its members states.

GGGI programmes across the world consist of policy and investment advice including on green building, clean transport, sanitation, waste management and manufacturing.

Ms Casaer noted that benefits which green urban growth can bring for Phnom Penh’s citizens and industries include jobs creation, green investment and gains in public health and people’s wellbeing.

A green industry scenario which GGGI developed with NCSD last year demonstrates, for example, that the introduction of green technology in manufacturing can lead to an increase in real GDP of $2.7 billion by 2030 and create more than half a million jobs, all while reducing emissions and pollution.

“Similar benefits can be expected from greening the building sector or switching to cleaner transport options,” Ms Casaer said. “I congratulate the NCSD, Ministry of Education and Phnom Penh Capital Administration on the high-level of commitment expressed through this plan, to developing Phnom Penh in a sustainable manner.”

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