The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Agency and the Cambodian Emergency Relief Association of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2021 to raise funds to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance in Sihanoukville province and to make the province mine free by 2025.
Source: The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Agency (CMAA)
China provides $2.5 million to Cambodian government for mine and unexploded ordnance clearance in Cambodia
On the occasion of Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's official visit to Cambodia on September 12, 2021, Minister of State and First Vice President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Agency (MAVA), Lee Tho, and Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao signed a $2.5 million handover agreement to the Cambodian government for the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia. The assistance was requested by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Arms Control as part of resource mobilization efforts to implement the National Mine Action Strategic Plan 2018-2025 at the request of the landmine agency.
Since 2015, China has provided annual financial and material assistance to Cambodia's National Mine Action Management and Demining Agency to contribute to the Royal Government of Cambodia's clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war. Assisting the Cambodian government in clearing landmines and ERW is to prevent and reduce the danger posed by these unexploded ordnances and to provide safe land use for the construction of houses, hospitals, schools, roads, agriculture and other socio-economic development. At the same time, China also provides annual scholarships to officials and staff of national mine action management and demining agencies, as well as demining operators, to receive training in demining skills in China.
The European Union and the United Nations Mine Action Service in October 2021 have renewed their partnership to deliver assistance to mine action partners, support safer humanitarian response programmes and integrate explosive risk education into the work of the many humanitarian agencies working in Syria. Over the coming year, the EU's €1 million grant will enable UNMAS to enhance its coordination role, extend the scope of its risk education and reinforce mine action data management to enable needs-based prioritisation of mine action activities and safer humanitarian assistance efforts.
Japan has renewed its commitment in August 2021 to promote peace building and stability in Somalia by contributing over four million USD to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action. It will enable the United Nations Mine Action Service to reduce the threat posed by explosive hazards and contribute to establishing a safe, secure and peaceful Somalia.
The UK Government has decided to reduce its funding for humanitarian mine action by 80 per cent, which will drop to just £25m for the next three years from the UK’s previous three-year mine action funding of nearly £125m. South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Iraq, Lebanon and Vietnam will no longer receive any UK support for their efforts to rid communities of the peril of landmines and other remnants of war. The UK government has previously been a global leader in mine clearance, as one of the founding signatories on the Mine Ban Treaty.
The Policy Brief on Mitigating the Environmental Impacts of Explosive Ordnance and Land Release has just been published by Mine Action Review
Clearance programmes have a responsibility to “do no harm” to the communities in which they work, which includes mitigating the negative environmental impact of their activities and systematically integrating environmental assessments into the planning process. This policy brief building on existing knowledge and research aims to present an overview of the major environmental impacts of explosive ordnance contamination and land release operations, and the potential impact of climate change on land release. It also gives an outline of the environmental impacts of post-clearance land use; summarises some of the relevant regulatory frameworks and treaty commitments; and underlines the importance of environmental stewardship. It recommended that post-clearance land use should be actively considered when planning clearance activities, and that involving environmental experts together with local communities from the start of the land release process is key to improving environmental management practices.
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