Representatives from nearly 20 countries have been gathering in Siem Reap provincial city in the 9th High-Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities.
Organised by the Ministry of Environment in cooperation with the Japanese government, ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC), and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), this three-day international event was opened yesterday under the presidency of Cambodian Minister of Environment H.E. Say Samal and visiting H.E. Yasuo Takahashi, Vice Minister for Global Environment Affairs at the Ministry of Environment of Japan.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Say Samal expressed his concern over the environmental risks that Asian cities have been facing due to three main factors � poverty, industrial development, prosperity and people's consumption.
All environmental issues related to the first stage of industrialisation and economic growth include air, water, and soil pollution, along with poverty in cities in Asia and the Pacific resulting in illegal settlement, he added.
To deal with the above-said problems, he pointed out, AWGESC created ASEAN Model Cities in April 2011, and now this programme, financially supported by the Government of Japan, has been implemented in 40 cities of ASEAN member nations.
H.E. Say Samal also laid stress on the Royal Government of Cambodia's commitment to promote sustainability in city development and shared Cambodia's sustainable development agenda for 2030 as well as the country's contribution to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The High-Level Seminar on Sustainable Cities is organised annually to gather together influential East and Southeast Asia policymakers, experts and practitioners working on clean, green and sustainable cities. Since 2010, senior officials from the region's environmental and urban line ministries, city authorities and development partners have met in various cities in Asia to share and promote their latest ideas and initiatives on sustainable city development; exchange knowledge and explore collaboration potential; and, importantly; and develop specific recommendations to the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting, which includes ASEAN Environment Ministers, on practical cooperation activities on environmentally sustainable cities.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press