Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chemical Management for Cambodian Environment Officials

By Soy Sophea

The Ministry of Cambodia, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a one-day seminar to promote the sound of management of chemicals (SMC).

Sophie Baranes, Deputy Director of UNDP to Cambodia, told 50 participants that chemicals play a part in almost all human activities and are a major contributor to national economies.

“Chemicals are truly seen as one of the determining factors in striking a balance between environmental integrity, social equity and economic prosperity,” she said. “Their sound management is vital to achieving the Millennium and national development goals.”

She noted that when chemicals are not properly managed they can put human health, ecosystems, and national economies at risk, adding that their use or misuse could also result in increased health costs and reduced work productivity.

Khieu Muth, the secretary of state of Cambodia’s environment ministry, said that, “Cambodia is not a producer of chemical substances, we are a consumer. Therefore, we have to carefully review the management of the substances in order to protect our people’s health and environment.”

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