The Ministry of Environment and several partner organisations held a two-day workshop on clean vehicles and fuels in Cambodia on May 24-25, aiming to share knowledge and best practices so they could work together to reduce air pollution.

In attendance at the forum in Phnom Penh were representatives of state institutions, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and industry experts. Included on the agenda were vehicle emissions standards, the monitoring of those emissions and the quality of available fuel.

The workshop also featured discussion panels on the development of a roadmap for the introduction of type 6 standards for fuel and vehicles (EURO 6) in Cambodia, as well as conducting outreach on the cleanliness and safety of used vehicles.

Environment ministry undersecretary of state Chea Sina said that along with economic growth, air pollution is increasing in many major cities around the world. He said poor air quality has long-term effects and remains a challenge at the regional and global levels.

“The workshop was also an opportunity for us to get together and explore possible solutions to the problem, with input from the policy makers and industry representatives who joined us.

“We discussed moving towards stricter emissions standards and fuel quality to reduce air pollution in Cambodia, and are examining the challenges and opportunities that this commitment might present,” he said.

UNEP sustainable mobility unit official Yeonju Jeong said the workshop gathered helpful inputs from stakeholders. She thanked the environment ministry for co-organising the event.

“We support sustainable transportation and work with Cambodia on addressing fuel efficiency, while also building the Kingdom’s capacity on emission and vehicle monitoring,” she added.

Ke Vong Vathana, deputy head of the ministry’s General Department of Environmental Protection, noted that air pollution poses a serious problem and affects public health, environment and economic development. It cannot be considered as a regional issue, but a global one.

“In Cambodia, as in many other countries, economic development is increasing the levels of airborne particles and other pollutants into the environment. The main sources of environmental pollution include transportation, industry and the burning of biomass,” he explained.

He said the government has introduced a number of measures to reduce air pollution, including implementing policies and regulations that limit emissions and encourage renewable energy. The government also regularly hosts events to increase people’s awareness of the issue, with the collaboration of international organisations.

“This workshop was a valuable platform for sharing and exchanging good practices and lessons learned from participants and other countries. It will contribute to finding beneficial solutions to environmental problems,” he added.

According to a UNEP report, air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to public health worldwide, and is responsible for the deaths of more than seven million people every year.