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PM warns eco-court can curb tourism


March 8, 2008

PM warns eco-court can curb tourism

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned that government ministers should be cautious before offering support for a proposed international tribunal for ecological crimes, the Cambodia Daily newspaper said Friday.

Cambodia should not allow new environmental restrictions to curb the increasing number of planes that deliver increasing volumes of tourists to Cambodia, Hun Sen was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Cambodia was not alone responsible for climate change, he said, adding that climate change is a new, complex issue that required further study before Cambodia could take any actions.

Hun Sen said Cambodia expected to receive 2.3 million tourists this year, a 15 percent increase over 2007 level.

It was unclear which proposed international body the premier was referring to, however the Inter Press Service news agency reported in September that UN diplomats had expressed renewed interest in creating such a tribunal, a long-standing proposal, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, World Wildlife Fund Program Manager Bas van Helvoort said Thursday that Cambodia was not among the world's largest polluters, but it likely would not suffer from the creation of such a court.

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