Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Opening of the Second National Forum on “Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources”

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[Unofficial translation]

CNV: 22/08/2017

Decisions from National Forum Will Be Those of the Royal Government

I wish to clarify that any decisions that are coming out of the forum between the Royal Government and concerned actors today will be tantamount to decisions of the full-session of the Cabinet meeting. We have defined its power and role last year. The private sector and the Royal Government have also created a mechanism of this kind. It helps expedite our efforts to resolve concerned problems. Now working groups of the RGC-Private Sector meeting are working on their relevant responsibilities. In the last years, we have not had urgent and major issues for the RGC-Private Sector meeting’s attention. All eleven working groups continue their works. This National Forum’s decisions will also bear the nature of decisions of the full Cabinet meeting. We also will offer the Ministry of Environment to continue working with related actors three times in a year […]

Power of Decentralization and De-concentration to Sub-national Authorities

We will soon seek the opinions of our forum. However, I should make some comments on this point. Powers of decentralization and de-concentration are now with sub-national authorities. What are they waiting for? Are they waiting for national level authorities to work on them or are they going to take them up themselves? Our problems lie there. I always reminded many times that the central level must transfer functions to local authorities. What should be our focus here is that the local authorities should not receive them and hang them behind their backs or place them in drawers. They must lead with actions in their area of responsibilities […]

Cambodia Continues to Use Firewood and Charcoal

As far as this issue is concerned, I think we have come to a repetition. We have come to understand a number of issues regarding deforestation. However, would everyone, those working with NGOs and insulting the Royal Government (on deforestation) understand? With what do they cook their food? They cook their food by firewood and charcoal. If they are environmentalists and avoid taking parts in the discussion, they should not use firewood and charcoal to cook their food. There are people who wish to stay out of the forum to write papers to blame the Royal Government. It is not going to be an issue to resolve in one or two years or ten years but until Cambodia can ensure gas for every household. Even then, (people) would still need firewood or charcoal for grilling. They would not grill meat with gas. Meat grilled by charcoal tastes better […]

Three “No” and Three “Demands”

Some people have made themselves famous of bragging. I used to say that they have specialized in three “No.” They would say no to any assistance to Cambodia. They say no to investment to Cambodia. Thirdly, they say no to purchasing goods from Cambodia. Tomorrow I will meet over ten thousand workers. I will tell them clearly. I would warn those who pursue the “Three No” trick. However, they are demanding three things – to exercise regime change, to increase workers’ salaries and to launch demonstrations. The three “No” they have been pursuing above is a treacherous act of their nation and people […]

To replace use of firewood would take us a long time and we will have to speed up construction of gas pipeline to every household. We also see that there would be problem for introducing coal to boil palm juice to make sugar. We must look for other thermal energies sources. Kilns to dry tobacco leaves or bricks and tiles also need source of heat. To fuel those kilns, how many cubic meters of firewood would they need for one time operation? Have we thought about this issue? We are sharing a roof altogether. We are in one boat together. We must sit down and discuss this issue. Give it our thoughts. We are providing input for today’s discussion […]

Wildlife Protection; Rice Field and Banana Plantation in O Alai

We continue to have this crime on wildlife. We forbade people to feast on wildlife but rich or poor they all like it … We also still have deforestation to claim land in possession of the state. Some people cut down forest in Battambang province. We resolved the matter and gave him the land. They sold land to other people. The same persons showed up in Kratie. They did the same. We resolved the matter. They left and showed up, and did it again in Kompong Thom. We must be more careful as far as issue relating to the Virakjei Park is concerned […]

The Lao troops had withdrawn after I led a negotiation with their leaders to avoid armed clashes. In my letter, I have asked them to withdraw their troops from O Alai and O Ta Ngao. Yesterday, our army discovered two hectares of rice in the area and six banana plantations. Who have grown them? We are conducting our search to find out whether it was Cambodians who grew them or Laotians crossing the river to grow them. The Virakjei Park covers a huge area from Stoeng Treng to Mom Bei in Ratanakiri. Previously, we have not been fulfilling fully our regulation to stop hunting of wildlife in that region, yet […]

Minimize Requests for Civil Servants in 2018

Let me address this point. Other institutions also need to take note of this. We will need to minimize the request for recruitment of new civil servants for 2018. Why do we need to do that? We cannot allow our budget to blow up because of too many civil servants. They must make full use of the staff they have now. We have just created a military division 128 to defend our territory but also to take part in safeguarding internal security. They would also assist in protection the Virakjei Park. We have also armed nearly 200 of them there.

To avoid facing pressure of having both army and civilian officials there, I have told the Ministry of Economy and Finance to minimize requests for staffs from institutions. If they ask for 100 new personnel, concerned ministries should approve only ten or twenty […] It has also something to do with requesting for more forest rangers. I would say troops that are stationing nearby would allow us to minimize the requested number of forest rangers too. I was there and I told them that I have decided to create the division not for them to cut trees and we are not building roads for them to transports logs. As for recruiting more civilian staff, they could wait a little longer.

Our current expense on civil servants has reached 50% of our current expenses. According to the macroeconomic management principle, it should be only 40% of our current expenses or 4% of GDP. We have now spent 50% or about 6% of GDP. We did it to increase the salary of civil servants, the armed forces, teachers, etc. […]

Will Meet A-Mention Secondary School Graduates

I would take this opportune moment to wish nephews and grandchildren who are in their second day of secondary school exams. I will meet with mention-A graduates here. They are working hard. I hope they will pass their exams, whether mention “A” or any others so that they would continue to a bachelor degree study. We would also not allow those who failed to lose their chances. They would continue to other specialized training degrees […]

No More Economic Land Concession

HE Say Sam Al, Minister of Environment, already mentioned about (economic land concession). I very much support the idea. There will be no more approval for economic land concession for investments in my term. Those who have not made use of them, we will take the lands back. We will reserve them for social land concession. If they fall on those in protection area, we will keep them and grow trees […]

Jobs Creation for Firewood and Tree Sap Takers

… First, we must do whatever we can to change their jobs. We must create new jobs for them so that they would leave their previous trades of cutting forest to sell as firewood and/or to exploit sap from trees. According to our troops in O Alai and O Ta Ngao, there have been remarkably many sap-taking businesses. Some had even cause wild fire. We have done well in the area of Angkor Wat temple. In older days, people holed up a big tree and burned it with fire from a torch to get sap. With careless manner, they could have accidentally made fire to the tree or forest. We did well for people in the area of Angkor Wat. We should try to replicate this experience.

Conserving Natural Resource, Cultural Heritage, and Forest Area

Registering the area of Sambo Prykuk as one of the world heritages is a major part in contributing to the conservation of national resource, cultural heritage, and forest in the area. Terms set by UNESCO are not only the temples themselves but also the buffer areas. We must do a good job because they would review on our work […]. Normally, in times of elections, there usually are anarchic activities. We had gained experiences from such incidents in the Angkor Wat area. We must not neglect this task to prevent national and world heritages from abuses and violations […]./.

 

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