Cambodian Parliament Adopts Long-awaited Code of Environment, Natural Resources

Photo released by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on Oct. 26, 2020 shows Eld's deer in the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in eastern Cambodia. Photo by Eleanor Briggs/WCS/Handout via Xinhua

PHNOM PENH -- The National Assembly of Cambodia on Tuesday approved the long-awaited draft code of environment and natural resources.

Some 98 lawmakers in attendance unanimously adopted the code, which is composed of 12 chapters and 865 articles.

Environment Minister Say Samal said the code, which had been drafted since 2015, aimed at strengthening the management, protection, conservation and restoration of environment, natural resources, biodiversity and ecological functions.

"It will set a common strategic direction for environmental protection and natural resources conservation," he told the assembly.

He added that it will also expand the possibility of ministries, institutions and social milieus to further take part in environmental protection and natural resources and biodiversity management and preservation,

Loy Sophat, chairman of the National Assembly's commission on planning, investment, agriculture, rural development, environment, and water resources, said the draft code will increase the effectiveness of the management and conservation of environment, natural resources, biodiversity, and natural and cultural heritages.

"It will be a key legal instrument for law enforcers, especially for competent authorities responsible for suppressing environment and natural resources crimes," he said.

The draft code will be finally reviewed by the Senate before being submitted to the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni for endorsement.

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