Editorial | Articles about Cambodia | Khmer

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

From concern to action to protect our historic town of Siem Reap

Experts' concern over unregulated development does not suprise me enough. I tend to take this for granted. What strikes me is the concern pf ordinary people over this issue.

Article "Tourism boom brings hope and worry to Siem Reap, Cambodia's Tourist Hub" is does not seem to appreciate a 17-year old souvenir vendor Suos Samnang (Associate Press, Nov 20, 2006).

Her quote in the article reflects on three shortcomings in this fast growing town that require more attention from the government. First, the lack of control on the environmental issues; second, traffic chaos; and third, migration . The last issue is of course not an easy task to control since we do not any regulation to regulate it and if we do, it would cause great social problems. It is quite common to understand why people migrate.

Tourism boom combined with migration in this town suggests that the national government and local authorities be aware of all emerging issues that could be a potential cause that vanishes our heritage. This of course needs to go beyond the thinking of ordinary people like Suos Samnang.

While the national government and local authorities play an important role in regulating development, espeically in construction industry, and meeting servise demands in this town, private businesses and local people also share responsibility to care of our environment and our heritage.

Reinforcing the capacity of local authorities and promoting civic engagement in solving day-to-day problems is likely the only way to protect the identity of our historic town, Siem Reap, where most of our heritage items are situated.

In so doing, our wrold heritage temple, Angkor Wat, will provide more pride to Cambodia and her people.

Bunnarith Meng
PhD Student in Urban and Regional Planning,
University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA

Powered by Blogger

 Home   |   About Us   |   Submit URL or Your Company Address First Launched: 08/15/95 - Copyright © 2010 Cambodian Information Center. All rights reserved.