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Cambodia, a people raised from the ashes, calls for nation-building to save the one place we call home

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

In the face of armed conflicts the world over, the Prime Minister of Cambodia,
Samdech Hun Sen, speaks on behalf of a nation that has risen from the ashes of
unspeakable strife: “Cambodia weeps for the multitudes who are suffering. We
cannot choose war to end war. We must remain steadfast in our efforts to grow
and to strive for a better future.”

“A better future dwells in a healthy environment. Climate change is at the
heart of the only battle that must be fought and won,” says Say Samal, Minister
of the Environment for Cambodia. Nation-building and the fight against global
warming are arduous tasks and they must advance in tandem. “Cambodia has tilled
a soil darkened with the blood of countless innocents to become an economic
flag bearer in Southeast Asia. In peace we have found prosperity and in
prosperity we have found the resolve to tackle climate change, the one foe that
threatens us all.”

Cambodia reached “lower middle-income” status in 2015 and in spite of slowdowns
brought about by the pandemic, the nation is on track to reach “middle-income”
status in the coming decade. Average annual growth exceeded 7 percent between
1998 and 2019 and as economic recovery from the pandemic gets underway,
Cambodia expects to soon regain its status as one of the more rapidly growing
economies on the planet. The World Bank notes that “Cambodia has made
considerable strides in improving maternal and child health, early
childhood development, and primary education in rural areas.” These strides are
built on peace and on sound economic planning – the foundations of sustainable

The pandemic has reminded us of the need to be more resilient, and how
increasingly fragile our environment is to become without stewardship. The
global health challenge is immense, and it will continue to affect growth for
some time, but few have been heard to say that it is insurmountable. “A vibrant
and sustainable economy is the cornerstone upon which we will continue to build
and to strive for a healthy environment” says Minister Samal. “More than 70
percent of main household earners in Cambodia have weathered the storm and have
remained employed. This number will rise as we recover and as we pursue the
nation-building that will contribute to our efforts to save the one place we
call home.”

Cambodia has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent of
business-as-usual levels by 2030, and to work to achieve carbon neutrality by
2050. “A concerted campaign against the ravages of climate change has the
potential to increase Cambodia’s GDP by nearly 3 percent annually and to create
nearly half a million green jobs by the middle of the century” says Minister
Samal. “Climate change is not an imaginary enemy. This is the one fight that
must and will bring us together.”

Media Contact: Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State and Spokesperson of the
Ministry of Environment, Email:

SOURCE: Ministry of Environment, Cambodia

Source: Ministry of Environment, Cambodia