Environmental activists in the Kingdom yesterday urged governments around the world to be more active in addressing climate change.
Yesterday, members of civil society organisations and students gathered in Phnom Penh to anticipate the upcoming World Environment Day on June 5, the theme of which is “Protect Our Earth for All”.
Tim Malay, director of the Cambodian Youth Network, said climate change causes negative impacts to society and the economy.
“Climate change concerns the Cambodian people, its government and the rest of the world,” Mr Malay said. “This destruction has been increasing year after year.”
“There must be urgent action in the national development plan to prevent climate change issues,” he added.
Trash Youth leader San Daravit said the earth’s temperature has been increasing, while irregular rainfall and storms caused by climate change continue.
“I see our environmental problems in Cambodia worsening due to littering, forest issues and climate problems,” he said. “The weather has been extremely hot – but then it suddenly rains – it affects the health of our people.”
Roeun Sreyneang, a student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said climate change especially impacts people living in rural areas because most of them are farmers who need water for their irrigation needs.
Ms Sreyneang said people, especially youth, should participate more actively in the protection of the environment by reducing the use of plastic and fossil fuel.
“Please join together in addressing the problem of climate change in order to protect our earth,” she said.
Leang Sophal, an official with the Environment Ministry’s climate change department, said climate change is a global issue and that as a developing nation, Cambodia is susceptible to its impact.
Mr Sophal noted that Cambodia has commitments with foreign countries and development partners to respond to climate change.
“We have international mechanisms with other countries, as well as development partners, in order to implement initiatives, such as reducing the use of diesel and hydropower, and using clean energy such as solar and green power,” he said.
World Environment Day encourages people around the world to promote environmental awareness.
Neth Pheaktra, spokesman for the Environment Ministry, said that this year, the ministry will organise the National Environment Day and the World Environment Day with the theme of “Air Pollution” in Banteay Meanchey province.
Mr Pheaktra said the ministry will mainly focus on preventive measures and the reduction of air pollution due to the burning of rubbish in open air and fossil fuel.