Empowering Communities for a Sustainable Future: The Local Community Development Strategic Plan

The "Local Community Development Strategic Plan" stands as a noteworthy accomplishment by the Ministry of Environment, showcasing its commitment to uplift the livelihoods of local communities. According to the Ministry of Environment, the plan encompasses initiatives such as promoting ecotourism, encouraging private sector involvement for career opportunities, and nurturing community tree planting, all aimed at steering towards a carbon-neutral community by 2050. H.E. Dr. Eang Sophalleth, Minister of Environment, articulated this vision during the official launch of the plan here at the ministry on Jan. 29. To ensure the ongoing success of the "Local Community Development Strategic Plan," H.E. Minister Eang Sophalleth advised the General Department of Local Communities within the Ministry of Environment to strengthen the implementation with a focus on six priority points: 1. Continue fostering collaboration with partners from public institutions, the private sector, and development partners to address lo cal community concerns. Promote entrepreneurship and investment, especially in agriculture, non-timber forest products, and ecotourism services, crucial for effective implementation. 2. Encourage development partners and the private sector to align their action plans and strategic plans with both the "Local Community Development Strategic Plan" and the "Environmental Chakra Strategy" for collaborative success. 3. Strengthen the structure and capacity building of local community networks to facilitate consultations with the Royal Government, ensuring comprehensive understanding of local needs and challenges. This approach supports the appropriate implementation of both the "Local Community Development Strategic Plan" and the "Environmental Chakra Strategy" at the grassroots level. 4. Organise and enhance nurseries in collaboration with the Capital-Provincial Department of Environment, aiming to plant a minimum of 100,000 seedlings (forest and fruit trees) in each province annually. This initiative seamlessl y aligns with the goals outlined in both the "Local Community Development Strategic Plan" and the "Environmental Chakra Strategy," notably the "Pentagon Strategy" with the overarching aim of achieving a "carbon-neutral country with 60 percent forest cover" by 2050. 5. Encourage organisations, partners, the private sector, and relevant institutions to adopt renewable energy practices, including solar energy and the use of wood-saving stoves. Promote water conservation and reinforce solid-liquid waste management. Continue campaigns like "Today I do not use plastic bags" regularly in schools, pagodas, towns, and communities. 6. Solicit the involvement of representatives from development partners and the private sector to explore the possibility of providing expertise in agriculture, animal husbandry, handicrafts, food packaging, art, music, and machinery repair. These skills training initiatives aim to boost the family economy within protected areas. Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse