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CSOs urge ministry to release the full EIA

Sok Srey Lux / Khmer Times Share:
Thy Try, executive director of Open Development Cambodia, speaks at the workshop. KT/ Chor Sokunthea

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have requested that the Ministry of Environment to publicly release the full details of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to ensure accountability and transparency of environmental governance in Cambodia.

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The request was made in the workshop on “Using Open EIA Reporting to Drive Accountable and Transparent Governance” which was hosted by Open Development Cambodia (ODC) yesterday to raise public awareness about the EIA and promote strategies to enhance public participation in using evidence-based decision-making.

The workshop was joined by 35 representatives from various institutions, including international and local NGOs and private and public sectors.

Director of ODC, Thy Try, told reporters yesterday that the EIA should include a range of opinions as part of the assessment.

“The organisation is looking forward to working with relevant institutions in sharing and getting the EIA official report data.”

According to Try, the Ministry of Environment works with the Non-government Organisation Forum (NGOF) and Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) regarding the EIA.

“The ministry works closely with the NGOF and DPA, with both organisations receiving the final draft of the assessment from the ministry.”

The ODC statement said: “Although the report has been made public by the government, stakeholders and citizens have not been able to obtain full details and information on the contents of the evaluation report with the final analysis and full details.”

Transparency Cambodia programme manager, Ra Chanroat, one of the NGOs that joined the workshop said that information within the EIA has not been fully spread to CSOs, and the CSOs can not yet fully access the Ministry’s EIA updated report.

Chanroat said: “The CSOs are having a difficult time accessing the reports from the ministry as we have to submit a request form. The ministry sometimes responds back that the reports are not yet finalised and still need further corrections.”

Environment Ministry Spokesman, Neth Pheaktra, said yesterday that the ministry will release the full report after it has been evaluated and finalised by relevant officials in charge of the process.

Pheaktra said: “All development investment projects must pass an environmental and social impact assessment, in participation with inter-ministerial groups and relevant organisations, and the results of those meetings will be made public in due course. At the same time, we must respect the privacy policy of private companies, who are detailed in the report.”

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