Creal Cambodia, a local environmental NGO, has announced the selection of 500 young people to participate in an "Eco Carnival" event, which will be held this weekend to inspire young people to clean up the environment ahead of the 2023 SEA Games hosted by Cambodia.

The Eco Carnival will be held at Wat Botum Park for two days on March 11-12, with the aim of getting the direct involvement of young people to support the “Phnom Penh Clean” environment campaign ahead of the SEA Games this coming May.

The Eco Carnival programme will contribute to educating youths about the environment and supporting domestic products and local business as well.

Creal Cambodia founder Hour Chhai Ngorn said the Eco-Carnival is a major environmental event that they hold for the first time with the full support of the Ministry of Tourism, Phnom Penh Municipal Administration and other partners under the theme "One heart and will for the environment".

"We used to organise environmental campaigns with 1,000 people directly involved in cleaning up the environment, but for this Eco-carnival programme, besides participation in cleaning up the environment directly, they will enjoy other festivities as well,” he said.

He said there will be a concert, booths sharing environmental knowledge and speeches from many honorary speakers, a special show with games and nearly 100 booths selling local products.

"So young people are not only involved in the environmental clean-up campaign, but in the whole programme’s activities. They will receive appreciation letters, gifts, entertainment and knowledge about environment and teamwork as well,” he said.

Chhai Ngorn emphasised that he really needs the young to participate because the project needs 10,000 people and 500 core youth volunteers to participate in the campaign to clean up the environment directly.

"Currently, we have nearly 200 people in a volunteer group called “Noriray 1” as the core of the event, who are working together. But this programme can only work with the participation of another 500 young people," he said.

The environment ministry has provided material and technical support in the management, clean-up, collection and transportation of urban solid waste for clean-up campaigns like this one in the past.

The ministry also encouraged sub-national administrations nationwide to take ownership of urban waste management and promote environmental protection to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development.