Cambodia is embarking on a two-year project to develop an emission inventory, establish an air quality control data system, and devise a low-carbon transportation strategy for Siem Reap City. The Ministry of Environment announced the project’s launch, highlighting the urgent need to improve air quality in the Kingdom, which has deteriorated in recent years.
The project is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). It aims to protect public health by addressing air pollution, which poses a significant risk to human health and the environment. The main contributors to poor air quality in Cambodia are emissions from industrial plants, diesel vehicles, wildfires, and biomass burning.
Air quality monitoring stations installed across the country have detected increased concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 inert particles, which can rise above the standard levels in some provinces. AFD Deputy Country Director Emmanuel Dollfus acknowledged that air pollution affects both urban and rural areas and disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable populations.
In response to the air quality crisis, the AFD developed a Regional Programme for Air Quality Improvement in Southeast Asia in 2020. The program supports countries and cities in their efforts to develop and implement policies and projects to improve air quality. GGGI will lead the project’s implementation and provide technical support to the ministries and participating partners in Siem Reap City.
GGGI Director General Frank Rijsberman emphasized the need for better air quality monitoring to boost knowledge and enable effective action to reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. He also noted the opportunity to address both issues by transitioning from fossil fuel combustion to electric-powered transportation, such as buses, cars, and motorbikes.
The Cambodian government has made significant efforts to reduce air pollution through various regulatory measures, action plans, and the Clean Air Plan of Cambodia, a national strategic document developed in 2021. The plan outlines concrete actions for air quality improvement, including legal documents, a management program for emissions by sectors, and mitigation measures.
As part of its commitment to a sustainable transport sector, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is focusing on introducing regulatory measures, mobilizing resources for supporting infrastructures, and raising public awareness about electric vehicles. The plan includes promoting public transportation options such as public buses, light rail transit, and subways.
Danh Serey, Director General of Environmental Protection, expressed optimism about the project’s potential to improve air quality, enhance public health, and protect the environment in pursuit of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The project will provide technical assistance to ensure the quality and accuracy of air quality data, collect data on air pollution emissions from the transport sector, and strengthen inventory activities.
Source: Khmer Times