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River Ocean Cleanup Commits to Removing Over 500 Tonnes of Plastic from Cambodian Rivers

Phnom Penh, March 29, 2024 - River Ocean Cleanup (ROC) has pledged its dedication to purifying Cambodia's primary rivers from plastic waste by the year 2028, marking a significant step towards environmental conservation in the country.

In a recent announcement, the Executive Director of ROC outlined the ambitious goals of the organization's five-year mission (2023-2028), aiming to extract between 500 and 600 tonnes of plastic waste from these vital waterways. To date, ROC has successfully removed 1,693 tonnes of plastic from the Tonle Sap, Tonle Mekong, and Tonle Basac rivers.

The cleanup efforts will focus on a cumulative 700 kilometres of river pathways, specifically targeting the areas around Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Kratie, and Kampong Cham. These regions have seen significant pollution, with wastes detrimentally affecting the biodiversity of these rivers. The pollution not only poses a risk to human and animal life but also undermines community livelihoods, tourism, and the broader economy.

The Environment Ministry, represented by Minister Eang Sophalleth during the mission's official inauguration, expressed strong support for the initiative. The Minister's commendation highlighted the potential impact of the cleanup on both the environmental health of the rivers and the economic wellbeing of the communities situated along their banks.

For the cleanup effort to be effective and to ensure the lasting purity of these rivers, both ROC and the Environment Ministry have emphasized the importance of public involvement and the cooperation of all stakeholders. This call to action aims to foster a community-driven approach to preserving Cambodia's vital water resources for future generations.

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