The photo was taken before the community outbreak at Knong Phsa, Kampong Speu Province. Photo: Manuth Buth

Your excellencies, esteemed colleagues, friends of the media, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I am pleased to join you for the national consultation on Cambodia’s Environment Management Information and Decision Support System, developed within the framework of the project entitled “Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project (CSLEP), implemented by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and UNDP, with funding from the International Development Association of the World Bank.

UNDP supports digital transformation of the Department of Geographic Information Service of the Ministry of Environment to leverage advances in information and communication technologies, and cutting-edge science for informed decision-making on natural resources management for people and the planet.  

As such, it is currently working together with the Department of Geographic Information Service and Arbonaout Oy Ltd. to develop a digital platform for environmental management information and decision support that will allow Cambodia to take a transformative leap in the application of digital technologies for environmental resources management to accelerate recovery and sustainable development in the Kingdom. The digital platform will host a pool of technologies to identify and monitor natural resources and nature-based solutions for biodiversity, protected area management, climate, and sustainable development in Cambodia.

Cambodia has taken gigantic strides towards economic growth during the last two decades, which entailed, nonetheless, environmental externalities and biodiversity costs. If we learned one thing from the pandemic, it is the wakeup call on the interconnectedness of people, prosperity, and the planet.

As the country is facing the dire challenges of the pandemic, we should not oversee the opportunity to re-set recovery and growth on a trajectory that puts nature back in the decision-making process, ensuring that the ecosystems underpinning the economy, and human security and well-being are protected and sustained.

A key priority for UNDP is to support Cambodia in these efforts by promoting different but interlinked approaches across various disciplines. For example, we believe that institutional strengthening and capacity development in an area such as environmental data management is crucial for setting back the country on the path of sustainable and durable development. This consultation goes into this direction; supporting data and analyses to guide decision-making and the development of integrated land management policies that establish a sustainable relationship with nature while strengthening local economies.

I am glad to note that, following a successful initial consultation with development partners in last December, today’s meeting will consolidate the opportunity for interactive engagement with various stakeholders in designing the new platform. The Department of Geographic Information Service of the Ministry of Environment and UNDP will work together to sustain this constructive dialogue and exchange with various stakeholders throughout the various phases of the platform development.

I am confident that the environment information management and decision support platform will strengthen the capacity of policymakers to make evidence-based decisions and facilitate a shared vision for evaluating development choices and managing natural resources for people and the planet.

I am also confident that it will be an important tool for monitoring the country’s progress against various policy targets and commitments such as the Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs), and the recently developed Long-term Strategy for Carbon Neutrality.

Your presence here this morning is a testimony of the wealth of capacities and knowledge mobilized from different institutions and your common commitment to charter a greener and more prosperous future for the people of Cambodia.

I encourage you to contribute your unique expertise and institutional knowledge and look forward to our continued collaboration.

Thank you.

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