The NGO Forum on Cambodia

The Engagement of CSOs in the Creation of Natural Resource and Environmental Code

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Phnom Penh, 23 November 2016: Finally there is 6 pages of 26 input and suggestion had been consolidated coming from 116 participants (21 Female) of research institutes, academia, legal firm, NGOs, development partners, communities representative and indigenous people who have been/being affected by any project development or investment in Cambodia. The NGO Forum on Cambodia with development partners, NGOs, Academia and technical working group who were working together to collect more comments and inputs on of Environmental Code,
Drawing from this point of view, the NGOF and CSO members in Cambodia organized CSO National Consultation Workshop ON THE DRAFT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CODE” conducting on 23 November 2016 a day before 3rd national consultation workshop host by Vishnu Law Group and Ministry of Environment (MoE).

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The CSO Consultation Workshop aims to collect wider inputs from relevant stakeholders and to consolidate inputs for the final submission on the draft of the environmental code to the Vishnu Law Group and the Ministry of Environment (MoE).

The development of the Natural Resource and Environment Code is part of a broader reform agenda for sustainable development and green growth. By seeing it as the important agenda in terms of improving the natural resources management and protecting human rights from server impacts by any development projects in Cambodia; NGOF has attempted to work more on the draft of this code. The objectives involving on “The engagement of CSOs in the Creation of Natural resource and Environmental Code” are as following:
-    Collect inputs/recommendations from NGOs/CSOs and affected communities and to ensure effective inputs/recommendation from NGOs/CSOs and affected communities will be incorporated into the Code through STWGs and drafting team.
-    Strengthening capacity of NGOs/CSOs and affected communities representatives and active participation in STWGs.
-    Integrate the concerns/issues, especially on environment and human rights, Environmental Impact Assessment in the Code.

Starting from July to November 2016, many key activities have been implemented in order to achieve the objectives above. Those outputs are addressing below:
-    The CSO Technical Working Group had been developed and regularly facilitated by NGOF. They are from RUPP, ITC, RUA, and national and international NGOs working natural resource management and human rights issues.
-    Inputs/comments on the draft of the code were collected from TWG members and endorsed by CSO members and affected communities.
-    CSO consultation workshop on the engagement of CSOs in the creation of Natural Resource and Environmental Code was organized under the presence of MoE distinguished Delegates.
-    NGOs and affected communities participated in the CSO consultation workshop on the engagement of CSOs in the creation of Natural Resource and Environmental Code have strengthened their capacity related to the knowledge addressing in the code
-    From rapid assessment there is approximately 50% of CSO inputs/comments were incorporated into the draft 5 of the code
After CSO consultation workshop; CSO perspective paper was developed by inserting inputs/comments of NGOs, affected communities, and TWG members. The paper was officially presented and handed to MoE and Vishnu Law Group in the 3rd National Consultation workshop on the Natural resource and Environmental Code on 24-25 November 2016 at MoE office by Dr. Tek Vannara; CSO representative and NGOF’s Executive Director.
Furthermore; besides officially submit; NGOF also mobilized the CSOs members and affected communities in 3rd National Consultation Workshop on the Draft Natural Resource and Environment Code of Cambodia held on 24-25 November, 2016, at Ministry of Environment, Phnom Penh to make sure their concerns and suggestions had been heard by policy makers, ambassadors, development partners as well as related stakeholders,
Cambodia key challenges to environmental protection and natural resources management are partly due to unclear/overlapping jurisdiction among ministries and gaps in the law and policies. These challenges have negative social and environmental impacts as a result. Having seen the impacts, the Government of Cambodia in mid-2015, the Ministry of Environment formed a partnership with Vishnu Law Group to create the Environmental Code intended to unifying legal framework for all matters pertaining to environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources in Cambodia. The development of the Code is part of a broader reform agenda for sustainable development and green growth.

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