April 25, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Cambodia considers water as “White Gold” for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, Prime Minister Hun Sen said as he addressed the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit on April 23. He raised three recommendations to make water a sustainable resource for the future generations.
The two-day summit is being held in Kumamoto, Japan, from April 23-24 under the theme “Water for Sustainable Development — Best Practices and the Next Generation”.
In his keynote address, Hun Sen said: “For Cambodia, water is considered as White Gold – a driving force for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic progress and development. The Royal Government of Cambodia always recognises its strategic importance and places high priority on water resources aimed at promoting better management of water resources in order to ensure water security in the country.”
He said Cambodia will continue its commitment to collaborating with all stakeholders, under both regional and international mechanisms, to strengthen and promote more effective governance and management of water resources and the River basin, towards achieving the “Water for Sustainable Development” objective.
He further said that the Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years had posed unprecedented impacts on global socio-economic development. However, the crisis has also shown a need for conservation and protection of the ecosystems and natural resources, particularly water resources, to promote and support sustainable and resilient livelihood and socio-economic development.
“Certainly, water is an essential resource for development and quality living, but this resource is becoming scarcer and scarcer day by day in many parts of the world.
“This is due to human activities that are adversely affecting water source and its quality, climate change, floods and droughts, population growth and rapid development – all of which have been impacting water resources and the ecosystem that support it,” he said.
Hun Sen said water resources have become a key agenda that requires solidarity to manage them sustainably for now and in the future. He recommended continuing to promote the development and integration of infrastructure networks to support water resource management at country, regional and global levels.
Promoting the development of responsible socio-economic activities and supporting green development should be furthered, especially in agriculture which requires a great amount of water.
“[We should] promote and enhance our digital cooperation to leverage the progress of digital technology development for the use and management of water resources in efficient and effective manners,” he said.
He also recommended continuing supporting programmes, initiatives and activities that promote social sustainability in the use and management of water resources to ensure that all people around the world have access to water as needed.
“Cambodia looks forward to fruitful outcomes of the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit – along with the Kumamoto Declaration, which will become an important roadmap for strengthening our joint efforts to ensure sustainable and inclusive use, development, and management of water resources for all generations of humankind,” he said.