Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth on Tuesday urged Asean countries to cooperate in addressing illegal trans-boundary flows of waste that have affected the region in recent months.
Speaking at the 15th Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Environment on Tuesday in Siem Reap province, Pornmoniroth said: “This is a threat to our ecosystems, to our health, to the well-being of our people as well as tourism in our countries.
“We need better information-sharing, cooperation among our enforcement agencies and partnerships with countries of origin to stop these illegal flows of waste at their respective sources.”
Pornmoniroth, who is also the deputy prime minister, called on the Asean Working Group on Chemicals and Waste to prioritise this issue and suggested concrete steps in the near future to tackle this common issue in a collective and collaborative manner.
Cambodia is hosting the 15th Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Environment and related meetings from Monday to Friday in the province.
Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post that the meeting on Monday had focused on the preparation of documents to be presented at the meeting on Tuesday, which was the formal meeting of regional environment ministers.
The three main documents were a joint Asean statement on climate change; a draft on Asean environmental strategies; and a review on proposals by three countries — Vietnam, Thailand and Burma — to jointly set up Asean heritage parks.
“Cambodia also took part in sharing experience. All the work, especially the three documents, will be submitted for approval by the environment ministers involved in the meeting on October 8 [Tuesday],” Pheaktra said.
Minister of Environment Say Samal said on Tuesday that Asean had made efforts to promote environmental cooperation among the member states, as well as to enhance cooperation and strengthen relationships with dialogue partners and international development partners.
Asean, Samal said, had made remarkable achievements over the past years in addressing environmental issues, and promoting environment cooperation under the Asean framework to realise the Asean Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs).
“We will continue to further discuss, exchange ideas and review regional cooperation on numbers of environmental issues, in particular measures concerning the environmental sustainability under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint.
“This is to achieve the objectives of the Seven Key Strategic Priorities on Environment, and to seek new initiatives to further promote environmental cooperation in the region,” said Samal.