By Pech Sotheary
Phnom Penh, June 1, 2018
The National Assembly yesterday approved a draft law adopting the policies of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation, meaning that the Kingdom could soon become the organisation’s newest member country.
The draft law contains 22 articles in line with AFoCO’s policies on forestry. The draft was approved by parliament members during a plenary session earlier this month and was then submitted for review and approval by the legislative body.
Yesterday, members of the National Assembly presented the bill during a session presided by National Assembly president Heng Samrin. The draft was passed with 112 votes.
Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon said during the session yesterday that the adoption of these policies will benefit the country through cooperation in the forestry sector under AFoCO by aiming to cultivate and restore forest cover, an act that would be in line with Cambodia’s national development strategy.
“The adoption of the agreement to establish Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation [policies] is a response to our want to reform the forestry sector in Cambodia,” Mr Sakhon said. “Especially in sustainable management, conservation and development of forest resources for long-term benefits for the future of the Cambodian people.”
He added that under Asean-South Korea cooperation and the Korea-Cambodia bilateral cooperation, Cambodia has received $10 million from South Korea.
He said South Korea has provided an opportunity for Cambodian officials to participate in international forums, acquire technical assistance and obtained many scholarships for civil servants and students.
Chheang Vun, chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media at the National Assembly, praised the Agriculture Ministry for its part in preventing forest and agriculture related crimes.
“The commission also appreciates and encourages the Ministry of Agriculture to continue this work,” he said.
Ten countries have already signed an agreement with AFoCO including South Korea, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, Mongolia and Laos.
Among the 10 signatories, five countries have already ratified the agreement, including South Korea, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Bhutan and Myanmar.
The draft law to adopt the agreement will now be sent to the Senate for approval.