Sharing and Dialogue on Findings In Research on Environmental, Social, and Governance Compliance of Banking and Financial Sector in Cambodia

The NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF), as a member of FFC, worked with its members to organize a sharing and dialogue workshop to share and discuss on the follow up study findings on ESG compliance in banking and financial sectors in Cambodia, which was held on the 1st December 2022 from 08:00 to 12:00 at Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh.
The objectives of the workshop were:
• To share and discuss with relevant stakeholders including line ministries, development partners, private sectors, academia, and communities about ESG compliance in banking and financial sectors in Cambodia.
• To develop a joint action plan to move forward promoting ESG compliance in banking and financial sectors in Cambodia.

With the expectations of 1) The finalization of the report on ESG compliance in banking and financial sectors in Cambodia; and 2) Development of a joint action plan to move forward promoting ESG in banking and financial sectors in Cambodia, the workshop was held in Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh, and proceeded following the predetermined agenda. With all in-person attendees of 25 participants (8 females) actively participating. It is noted that two important people did not register, Dr. Tek Vannara (Mr.) and Mr. Mar Sophal, both are from NGOF, because they were too busy with the meeting welcome works.

The workshop was chaired by:
• Dr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGOF
• Ms. Sochenda Chan, ABC Representatives
• Ministry of Mine and Energy Representative
• Mr. Phonyut Sakara, FFC Coordinator, Oxfam Cambodia

The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Mar Sophal, the NGOF. He welcomed the participants and briefly informed on the objectives of the workshop. There are two objectives as mentioned on the objectives points earlier. He then, invited the participants to introduce themselves. They were mostly from Banks, relevant NGOs, and government representatives. Mr. Sophal facilitated the workshop in accordance with the predetermined agenda.

Dr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of the NGOF, paid his respects to all the participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, and specific acknowledgment to Oxfam and the Association of Banks in Cambodia for their support. He mentioned that the day was an opportunity for the participants to discuss ESG in order to make sure that development should be sustainable in Cambodia. ESIA has been a good mechanism for all development programs and projects. He underlined that mega project has applied ESIA. E.g. ABD requires the borrower to comply with ESIA prior to getting the project started. However, ESIA study results have normally been concluded differently in accordance with each institution.

CSO (led by Oxfam) and NGOF work with the private sector and MEF in practicing the ESG in order to deliver inclusive development. Today the meeting has Independent Consultant to present his findings to initiate discussions to improve banking and sustainable developments. We contributed to M&E to develop projects, especially those supported by ADB, he claimed. We ensured that all stakeholders are equitable for benefits from the developed projects. Participation in ESG implementation is crucial for all stakeholders in development. Dr. Vannara emphasized that different roles, challenges, risks, and all relevant issues should be informed among the relevant stakeholders. In this regard, all stakeholders are safe and equitably share benefits from the developments, he stated. E.g. the Banks would not have any concerns about their loans with the borrowers if they comply with good practices. The CSO role is to ensure voluntary and compulsory policies are applied. He informed me that the study, once already, will be shared, and after the workshop, the report will be on the websites of NGOF and Oxfam from today.