Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan 2018-2030 Officially Launched

Cambodia launched here yesterday the Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan (PPSCP) 2018-2030, aiming at turning Phnom Penh to become a clean, green and competitive city.

Presided over by H.E. Eang Sophalleth, Secretary of State for Environment and a representative of the chair of National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), the official launching ceremony brought together government institutions, embassies, development partners, national and international NGOs, academia and research institutions, and youth from the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, according to a press release of the Ministry of Environment (MoE).

In his opening remark, H.E. Eang Sophalleth talked about the green growth which is a development model to ensure social economic development and environmental sustainability and highlighted the national and international efforts of green growth practices toward the sustainable development and poverty reduction through, for example, more sustainable use of natural resources, efficiencies in the use of energy, and valuation of ecosystem services.

Importantly, he pointed out that cities are the centre of economic activities and propel job creation and GDP growth, but they are the place where resources including energy, water and other natural resources are vastly utilised by industries and consumers to drive economic development.

The Royal Government of Cambodia has embarked our sustainable development, and sustainable city development in its policy priorities for opportunities to accelerate its growth potential further through green city development and harness opportunities of garment sector, tourism and the real estate construction boom, he emphasised.

The Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan is a good start to serve as a role model for secondary cities, he underlined, expressing his gratitude to those who were involved in the making of the plan, and sincere thanks to NCSD and Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA) for coordination and guidance in development of the plan and particularly Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), for the tremendous support and dedication in spearheading green urban development programs in Cambodia.

For his part, H.E. Huot Hay, Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh, stressed the rapid economic growth of Phnom Penh city. As the economy grows and the city welcomes new people, it is important that Phnom Penh is developed sustainably for its residents, he added.

The deputy governor pointed out consequences, both positive and negative, of the rapid urbanisation which impacts economic and social development. He continued that the development of Phnom Penh must acknowledge its environmental impacts and pay full attention to climate change. This means development must go hand in hand with environmental protection, ensuring a clean and green environment in the city. For this reason, the Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan commits to developing city infrastructures with an environmental mindset. Some of the challenge the city faces in this regard include traffic congestion, wastewater, increasing volumes of solid waste etc. Climate change also affects urban areas with increased urban flooding and other environmental impacts. The city will take this into account when making investment decisions and developing infrastructure. He concluded his speech by explaining the plan was developed through various consultations, research and analysis and he expressed his confidence that the plan will be a useful guideline to implement green urban growth for Phnom Penh.

Ms. Karolien Casaer, Country Representative, GGGI Cambodia, illustrated some of the green urban development challenges around the world, and identified solutions GGGI has introduced in its member states. GGGI programmes across the world include policy and investment advice around green buildings, clean transport, sanitation, waste management, manufacturing and so forth. She underlined the opportunities which green urban growth can bring along for Phnom Penh's citizens and industries, and the potential for job creation, green investment and gains in public health and citizen's wellbeing. A green industry scenario which GGGI developed with NCSD last year demonstrates, for example, that the introduction of green technology in manufacturing can lead to an increase in real GDP of US$2.7 billion by 2030 and create more than half a million jobs, all while reducing emissions and pollution. Similar benefits can be expected from greening the building sector or switching to cleaner transport options. She congratulated NCSD, MoE and PPCA on the high-level commitment expressed through this plan, to developing Phnom Penh in a sustainable manner.

PPSCP 2018-2030 is developed to support the implementation of Phnom Penh's Master Plans on Land Use, Transport, and Waste Management. The Plan targets multiple stakeholders, national and municipal officials, private sector, development agencies, non-governmental organisations and academia to embark on sustainable development for Phnom Penh. The plan's vision is to turn Phnom Penh to become a clean, green and competitive city offering a safe and quality lifestyle to its residents by 2030.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press