Cambodia’s Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen delivered a keynote address at the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Special Ministerial Meeting on Forestry (SMMF) held this morning in Busan, RoK.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his appreciation and support to the discussion between ASEAN and RoK on the ASEAN-RoK forestry cooperation in the 2nd SMMF.
“I am of the view that this meeting provides a good opportunity for ASEAN and RoK to continue exchange views and review progresses on the ASEAN-RoK cooperation in forestry sector. I would like to extend my admiration to the government and people of RoK for paying close attention on the management and development of the forestry sector which leads to progress, and their efforts on the cooperation in helping ASEAN,” he added.
Forestry sector plays a critical role in the normalization of global temperature and environment on the earth, said the Cambodian premier, stressing, “It is an indispensable part of the nature which is dynamically interacting with society and human beings. Thus, the tie between the two, forestry and people, is inseparable and can have deep impact on the psychology, cultures and livelihoods of the people.”
At the same time, Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his regret over the deforestation in the region. “It is regrettable that our social and economic development has increasingly impacted the balance and harmony of the nature, and between human beings and the nature, particularly causing more and more losses of forestry resources and imposing challenges for human beings such as the climate change phenomenon. Thus, countries and regions in the world are required to particularly focus on the environment and natural resources cooperation, especially forestry resources in order to ensure existence of human beings and social and economic development,” he underlined.
According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the forests of the ASEAN, covering 50 percent of the land area of ten states, are a key resource in the region’s development and global efforts to deal with climate change.
“These forests provide food, fuel, fiber and other products to ASEAN’s 600 million people including 80 million directly relying on non-timber forest products for livelihood. Nonetheless, ASEAN’s forests are threatened by deforestation and degradation,” he said.
Acknowledging the importance of these issues, he added, the ASEAN leaders have introduced various initiatives and implemented many programs aiming to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and to conserve and manage forests with sustainability.
ASEAN has endorsed and implemented programs of the ASEAN Multi-sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forest through sustainable, efficient and effective use of land, forest, water and aquatic resources by minimizing the risks and impacts that significantly contribute to coping with the climate change, said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, indicating that besides that, ASEAN regularly holds ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Forestry and ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry to review the progress and chart future directions for forestry related issues.
On the occasion, the Cambodian prime minister also highlighted a number of practical measures with the aim to enhance cooperation among member countries and to contribute to addressing issues in the forestry sector.