Sanctuary concessions granted

Source : Phnom Penh Post

Environment Minister Say Samal speaks at a meeting on the environmental code of conduct in Phnom Penh last year. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Environment has granted concessions for agricultural purposes to two investment companies.

The ministry’s report, which it shared on its Facebook page, said CRCK II Rubber Development and Bean Heack Investment Co Ltd have been respectively allowed to develop 7,121.78ha and 4,128.66ha within Boeung Pear Wildlife Sanctuary in Kampong Thom province.

Following the granting of the concessions, the ministry instructed the companies to fully abide by the law and technical standards set by relevant authorities throughout the development process.

The two companies were asked to cooperate with relevant stakeholders, particularly the surrounding communities, in order to preserve the forest and prevent deforestation, especially in areas near the streams and around the temple.

The ministry demanded CRCK II and Bean Heack to oversee their fertiliser applications in accordance with the standards established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

They must administer a proper waste management system and make sure to avoid any waste spillage into natural water sources to protect the quality of the water.

In a separate letter, the ministry demanded that Bean Heack repair roads and develop infrastructure as per local residents’ request, as well as prioritise hiring Cambodian workers as required by law.

Moreover, the company is also expected to cooperate with the Department of Culture and Fine Arts, which listed ancient temples within the proximity of the proposed development location, to grow plants near the temples.

Environmental management plan

At the same time, the company must take action to reduce environmental impact as suggested by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) recommendations to keep to a minimum, any negative impact in the development.

The developers must also have an environmental management plan, control programme, adequate funds, and funds for social expenditure to overcome any economic, social, and environmental damage caused by the project.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said any company which obtained concessions from the government are required to conduct environmental, social, and economic assessments in advance to ensure their development plans would not negatively impact the livelihoods of people in its vicinity.

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