Highlights from the EANET National Stakeholder Awareness Workshop in Cambodia

Bangkok, 17 April 2024

The EANET National Stakeholder Awareness Workshop in Cambodia – Understanding Air Pollution and its Sources, Weather, Climate, and Topography in Cambodia, was held in Phnom Phen, Cambodia, on 19 March 2024, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Cambodia, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), back-to-back with UNEP’s Cambodia Clean Air and Sustainable Transport Workshop, held on 18-19 March. About 30 participants joined the Workshop. The workshop aimed to promote the EANET’s achievements, gain insight into Cambodia’s specific needs related to air quality management, and foster the development of additional initiatives to assist in addressing acid deposition and air pollution.


Opening Session

The meeting started with Opening Remarks from Dr. Chou Monidarin, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Environment Cambodia, and the National Focal Point of Cambodia for the EANET, followed by an introduction to the EANET and to the objectives of the meeting by Mr. Bert Fabian, Coordinator, Secretariat for the EANET. Prof. Meng Fan, Deputy Director General of the Network Center for the EANET, the Asia Center for Air Pollution Research (ACAP) then presented the activities of the EANET on air quality and acid deposition management, air pollution trends in the region, and the main activities of the EANET including monitoring, capacity building and technical support to Participating Countries.


EANET National Stakeholder Awareness Workshop in Cambodia
Group photo of participants on the first day of the workshop (photo by Clean Air Asia)


Assessing Cambodia’s Air Quality Landscape, Dynamics and Initiatives

Mr. Chandath Him outlined Cambodia’s air quality, citing primary pollution sources as older vehicles and industrial plants. With over 6.6 million registered motorcycles and cars since 1990, along with 1,859 operational industrial plants, pollution also stems from construction activities and agricultural practices. He highlighted the significance of airborne dust due to unpaved streets and construction, and discussed ongoing initiatives on monitoring like satellite projects and Low-Cost Sensors (LCS). Cambodia is updating its air pollution laws, including new vehicle emission standards, fines, and industry controls, with Euro 5/V standards enforced from January 2027. He introduced Cambodia’s Clean Air Plan, analyzing pollutants and proposing mitigation measures to reduce air pollution and combat climate change, aiming for integrated planning and coordinated management efforts.

Dr. Chanmoly OR, Director of the Research and Innovation Center at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia presented an analysis of the complex interplay between topography, weather, and air pollution in Cambodia. Favorable wind circulation aids in pollutant dispersion, while factors including humidity, temperature, and precipitation also influence air quality. The presentation underscored the need for comprehensive research to understand pollution sources better coming mainly from the the transport and construction sectors in urban areas, and from open-burning and agriculture, in rural areas, including emerging concerns such as microplastics particle pollution.

Dr. Anantaa Pandey outlined the Global Green Growth Institute‘s (GGGI) efforts to enhance air quality in Cambodia, focusing on emissions inventories, public transportation improvement, and capacity building. The program aims to address challenges such as equipment maintenance, expand monitoring infrastructure, and develop emission control strategies tailored to Cambodia’s context.


Strategies for Effective Air Pollution Management

The discussion segment saw active participation from experts and policymakers, emphasizing the urgency of addressing air pollution through multifaceted strategies. Participants highlighted the importance of upgrading vehicle emission standards, promoting cleaner fuels, and regulating industrial emissions. Challenges such as economic constraints and the high cost of fuel upgrades were acknowledged, with suggestions for phased transitions and international support.

The EANET meeting concluded with a consensus on the need for concerted efforts to combat air pollution in Cambodia. Key takeaways included the importance of robust monitoring infrastructure, innovative solutions tailored to local contexts, and international collaboration. The meeting underscored the critical role of initiatives like EANET in guiding Cambodia towards a cleaner and healthier future.


Useful Resources

-Read the Panelists’ Presentations:


Photo credits: cover photo of Phnom Penh (2022) by allPhoto Bangkok, group photo by Clean Air Asia.