The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) remains committed to our mission of “Saving Lives and Supporting Development for Cambodia”.
This is an important year for Cambodia. Later this year CMAC will be supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) in hosting the 11thAnnual Meeting of States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. During this time we will be welcoming the international community to our shores to celebrate the progress made around the world in mine action and to showcase the techniques and approaches that have been pioneered in Cambodia. The following report outlines our progress in these areas during the first six-month of 2011.
From an operational perspective the first half of 2011 proved extremely challenging for CMAC. Due to a lack of, and delayed, funding many CMAC field staff were ordered to temporarily stand down. In addition, the use of cluster munitions in Preah Vihear Province has hampered existing operations in the area and necessitated the diversion of additional resources. Despite these significant challenges we have continued to make real progress on a number of fronts. From January to June 2011, 30 projects were implemented, of which 10 were completed and 20 are currently operational. Through these projects CMAC has found and destroyed over 48, 222 unexploded ordnance (UXO) items of all cluster munitions, 33 of which were cleared in Preah Vihear. This has resulted in a total of 23,471,732m² released to everyday Cambodian people.
In addition to our standard operational activities we are engaged with communities in a number of other ways. CMAC has committed, with the support of the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS), to implement the Safety Village Construction (SVC) project, aimed at targeted clearance and support in order to facilitate the construction and development of key infrastructure such as: school building, road construction, road repair and through the digging of ponds, wells, culverts and waterways. We are empowering communities, through Mine Risk Education (MRE) and the Community Based Demining (CBD) project, to become involved in the spread of awareness and the teaching of proper demining techniques.
In particular, Cambodia is proud of having the Program for Integrated Mine Action and Landmine Victim Assistance (The Peace -building Project) under Japan’s Grant Aid for Conflict Prevention and Peace-building which is a 3-year program starting in January 2010. The project aims to accelerate the removal and destruction of landmines and improve the living conditions of local people who live in landmine contaminated areas. This will be achieved through community assistance and the promotion of productive land use in the rural mine affected areas after mine clearance.
We continue to pioneer new methods, developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Underwater Clearance of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), Free Running Dogs and Dog Breeding programs.
Working in partnership and the sharing of best practice continue to play an important part in the work of CMAC. In June we held the third, and final, Colombian-Cambodian Country Training on Strengthening the Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (PAICMA). Looking forward to the latter half of the year, we will be hosting a Land Release Workshop, to showcase the excellent progress made in this area, as well preparations for a UXO/Mine Action Sector Workshop between Lao PDR and Cambodia facilitated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Of course all of the above would not be possible without the support of the international community and our key partners, the Royal Government of Cambodia, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), Provincial Mine Action Committees (PMAC), Mine Action Planning Units (MAPU), local authorities and all of our generous donors. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to these partners for their continued support.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the staff at CMAC for their ongoing dedication and commitment towards the goal of a mine free Cambodia.
|H.E. Heng Ratana|
|Delegate of the Royal Government in charge as|
|Director General, CMAC|