Members of civil society organisations and youth groups are celebrating World Environment Day by organising two cycling events which will last for a total of 25 days, according to a joint press statement.
They said their events will be concluded before the official day, which is June 5. They have named their events “600km cycle for the environment” and “Let’s ride bicycles around Ta Mok Lake.”
The statement said the celebrations kicked off on May 10 and will run until June 3 with the theme “Promoting Environmental Protection for the Sustainability of Natural Resources and Human Welfare”.
The celebrations have three main objectives. First, to raise the awareness and participation of youth in environment and natural resource protection, and to fight climate change through activities that increase people’s knowledge of the impact of deforestation, the filling of natural lakes and the excess use of plastics and fuel.
Second, to urge the government to implement policies that would promote people’s participation in environmental protection.
Third, to encourage people to exercise their rights and freedoms and raise issues related to environmental protection, natural resources or climate change to decision-makers, and encourage them to find solutions.
“During this year’s World Environment Day celebrations, civil society and youth groups in Cambodia will be hosting cycling events, social media campaigns and workshops on May 29 in Phnom Penh,” the press statement said.
Heng Kimhong, research and advocacy programme manager at the Cambodian Youth Network (CYN), told The Post on May 10 that 25 volunteers including eight women – representing 15 civil society and youth organizations – would participate in the “600km cycling event for the environment”. They would depart from Kampong Thom town and then pass through the provinces of Preah Vihear, Kratie and Stung Treng and back to Kampong Thom province. The ride was expected to take 11 days.
“We will cycle on public roads to reach our destination. On this ride, we will follow a long loop, so we will return to Kampong Thom,” he said.
He said these activities would promote environmental awareness.
“We want to highlight environmental issues. We know that environmental issues are very important, especially the use of fuel and plastics, the destruction of natural resources and the effects of climate change on the environment,” he said.
Thuon Srey Pov, 20, a CYN member who volunteered to participate in the 600km cycling event, said the purpose was to promote environmental protection and reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Cycling tours are also good for health, she added.
“I know that cycling 600km will be difficult, but that is why it is a good test of our commitment and willingness. No matter what difficulties we face, we will continue to persevere with our goals of protecting the environment,” she said.
At the national level, National and World Environment Day was celebrated on May 5 in Battambang province under the theme “Caring for the Planet for Our Health”, to raise awareness of the environment to the public – especially the promotion of environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and sustainable living.
The date was moved one month earlier as the Kingdom will go to the polls for the commune council elections on June 5.