“They never gave any comment to us so far”. This statement was made by the Minister of Environment, Say Samal, last week in a speech held at a forum on natural resources. In the speech, he addressed the supposed lack of interests from civil society groups regarding the draft of the new environmental code, that aims at promoting sustainable management of Cambodia’s natural ressources. According to him, the ministry has not received any inputs or feedback from NGO’s or civil society groups. During the forum, Say Samal, accordingly advised civil society not to accuse the ministry of not listening to them in the proces of finalizing the code.
Civil society surprised by Minister’s statement
This statement is not being recognized by numbers of civil society groups and NGO’s. Contrary to the statements from the minister, Thomas Gray, director of science at Wildlife Alliance has another view.
“I’m a little surprised the minister would say that. We are very keen to be involved until it gets finalised,” he said to the Phnom Penh Post. Sey Peou from NGO Forum in Cambodia, also stated that NGO Forum has been involved in the drafting of the code since the beginning.
The Prey Lang Community Network, echoes with the statements of NGO Forum. It is, and has always been in our interest to engage in the design of the new environmental code. To the best of our knowledge, we have shared our ideas and concerns for the future of Cambodia, with the Ministry of Environment and hope they will take them into consideration.