The NGO Forum on Cambodia

National Consultative Workshop on the Draft Law on Environment Impact Assessment

The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) is hosting a two-day National Consultative Workshop on the Draft Law on Environment Impact Assessment on 29-30 April 2013 at Imperial Garden Hotel, today to seek for more input from NGOs working on environment issue where representative from 55 NGOs working on Environment and from Climate Change Network attended. As it was announced, the 181 pages draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) law would be discussed by the Parliament soon therefore the consultation will help the government to make the law acceptable by all parties.

Speaking during on the opening of the consultation, Mr. Chhith Sam Ath, Executive Director of NGOF, highlighted that the draft law needs to be comprehensively discussed among all stakeholders not only the environmental but also the social impact to make sure the law will benefit all people and he acknowledged that the participation from NGOs would produce very sound and productive comments for the government to take into account.

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Launch of new report by NGO Forum and World Vision Cambodia, Access to Land Title in Cambodia.

Recently, The NGO Forum on Cambodia and World Vision Cambodia have launched an important new report, Access to Land Title in Cambodia where more than hundred people from different local and international NGOs, government , medias and community members participated.  The report reviews the progress of Systematic Land Registration (SLR) in four areas: Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham and Preah Sihanouk provinces, and areas of Phnom Penh. The study provides important insight into how the SLR process is being undertaken.

The study found that, while the process appears to have been conducted appropriately for those who had access to the system in two of the four study areas, in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk provinces there were widespread exclusions from the SLR process.  There were also significant disputes involving high numbers of households in conflict with small numbers of influential people.

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Budget transparency remains low in Cambodia

On March 07, 2013, a group of different stakeholders met at a workshop at Sunway hotel in Phnom Penh to find out what the global Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2012 has revealed about Cambodia’s situation and progress with regards to budget transparency, accountability and participation.

Hosted by The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF)—the institution undertaking the OBS 2012—along with Advocacy and Policy Institute (API), Cambodians Resource Revenue Transparency (CRRT), Oxfam and Transparency International Cambodia (TI Cambodia), the launch workshop was participated and attended by over a hundred participants from various government ministries, development partners, civil society organizations (CSOs), research institutions, universities and the media. Speakers and commentators on the survey findings comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), World Bank, Cambodia Economic Association (CEA), NGO Education Partnership (NEP), Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC), API and NGOF who shared a common view on the importance of the OBS and its findings for Cambodia, with emphases on different details.

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ASEAN: Cancel the Xayaburi Dam, Save the Mekong, the Statement on 14 November, 2012

On the occasion of the 21 st ASEAN Summit and 7th East Asia Summit from 18-20 November 2012 in​Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we respectfully call on the ASEAN, and international community, to uphold​commitments to protect the Mekong River by immediately calling for a cancellation to the plans to build the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River mainstream in northern Laos. As participants of the 2nd ACSC/ASEAN People Forum, held in Phnom Penh from 14-16 November 2012, we acknowledge that the Mekong River Basin is the lifeblood to more than 60 million people in the region.

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NGO Forum Celebrate the World Habitat Day

“Changing cities, building opportunities” was the theme used during the celebration of the 27th World Habitat Day the NGO Forum on Cambodia hosted in, Kompot and Sihanouk province on October 9th, 2012. The event was made possible in collaboration with network members and partners, namely Community Managed Development Partners, Cambodia National Research Organization, CVS and GIZ. Preside over by the Vice provincial governor in Sihanoukville and the Municipal Governor in Kompot province, the event was  joined by more than a thousand participants from  local authorities, local NGOs, Community Representatives and Medias.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. UN-Habitat wants to underscore the need to plan our cities better because as has also been stated, unplanned growth of cities leads to chaotic development and urban sprawl. When well planned, cities can continue to afford opportunities to both the current and future residents. This dovetails with the new UN-Habitat campaign, “I am a city changer,” which seeks to involve all in making their cities a better place to live.

Speaking at the event in Sihanouk Ville, Mr. Chhith Sam Ath, Executive Director of the NGOF on Cambodia referred to a study showing the Cambodia population growth1.7% a year and by this, the Cambodian population will reach 19 million by 2020. This will require the government to have a better plan to meet the needs of this growth.  He also noted that the migration from provinces to urban areas causing the emergence of slump or the settlement of the people on the right of way. And again, this has caused challenges to the government and other parties to respond to those issues.

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath, as the representative for NGOs, supports the government on the implementation of Circular 03 where the participation from community and CSO is included in the process. However, he noted about the need to have full participation from all stakeholders on Urban Development to ensure that the development is for all.

NGOs holding a workshop on national budget process and transparency

More than thirty representatives from sector NGOs/CSOs working on budget issues met and attended to different presentations on budget monitoring and access to information in various sectors such as Education, Health, Extractive Industry and Gender. The one-day workshop, held on 14 September at Phnom Penh Hotel by NGO Forum on Cambodia brought an opportunity to sector NGOs in Cambodia and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) to share experience on access to budget information and budget advocacy, and to comprehensively discuss on advocacy strategies to effectively address budget transparency issues within the sectors.

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