By VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, November 27, 2015
Asean integration will start at end of this year, opening the region to a free flow of goods and services across borders. But many analysts say Cambodia will have a difficult time integrating and benefiting from the cooperation. There are other downsides, as well. VOA Khmer recently spoke with Toek Vannara, director of the NGO Forum, to discuss the likely environmental problems Cambodia and other countries could face if they do not act to protect their natural resources.
VOA Khmer: Could you tell us about your concerns regarding environmental problems that we may face when the Asean countries integrate?
The important issues are related to the management of natural resources after the integration of Asean at the end of 2015. This is an important issue, which occurs in the Greater Mekong sub-region. We’ve seen that forests have been turned into plantations, meaning agro-industry, so that countries process raw materials to export to Asean states, as well as other countries internationally. This could cause significant impacts. Turing forests into plantations could lead to the lost of the forests, biodiversity, and agriculture issues.
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