Japan Fund for Global Environment Home Page

Japanese Research Group on Cambodian Environment

Examples of Granted Projects

Environmental Research in Cambodia

Japanese Research Group on Cambodian Environment
Representative, Yukio Takahashi

The Meaning of Studying the Environment

Drawing water from a well dug by an NGO and shared by local residents. (in Sisophon)

In order to gain an objective understanding of the current state of the environment, there is a need to "measure" various aspects of the environment. However, in Cambodia, where the maelstrom of war prevailed for a quarter of a decade, the methods and technology for me asurement are far from being adequate. Given this background, in 1995, three Japanese universities joined hands with an NGO with considerable experience in local communities to launch the Japanese Research Group on Cambodian Environment.

Specific activities include, surveys on the quality of drinking water in provincial municipalities by Niigata University, air pollution surveys in the capital city by Yokohama City University and surveys on hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals and pesticides by Ehime University. The Shanti Volunteer Association's (SVA) role is to provide support for the field studies conducted by the three universities and to disseminate the outcome. These activities received grants from the Japan Fund for Global Environment for the years 1999 and 2000.

The Continuously Degrading Drinking Water, Air and Soil

On-site measurement of river water, often in the presence of many children and adults. (in Pailin)

The Cambodian people's drinking water is basically unfiltered rainwater or water drawn from a nearby river, well or pond, or purchased water. Major cities such as the capital city have tap water like that in Japan, but the waterworks in regional cities are limited and have very few users. Furthermore, the waterworks have not seen maintenance for thirty years, and therefore, water purification plants and underground water pipes have become completely superannuated. Results of a survey conducted on the water delivered by these waterworks demonstrated that all samples contained colon baccilus.

Air pollution has become a serious issue, as well. Motorbikes are very popular in Cambodia, and automobiles, for the most part used, have also recently been rapidly increasing in number. With the absence of emission control measures, the air of the capital city encompasses much sulfurous acid gas and lead. As a consequence of the continued wide use of leaded gasoline, there is a significant amount of lead, which is inflicting damage to human health.

Furthermore, municipal waste treatment facilities practice open burning in order to prevent decay and damage from noxious insect and disease. With many plastics contained in the waste, dioxin is belched, threatening the health of the residents of the vicinity. Meanwhile, in the suburbs and rural areas, the soil, fish and birds that feed on fish showed an unexpectedly low level of heavy metals and pesticides.

We seek to continue our cooperation work, the uniqueness for which we have fortunately received high appraisal from the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment and the local people.


Japanese Research Group on Cambodian Environment
c/o Yukio Takahashi Seminar, Faculty of Engineering, Niigata University
8050 Ninomachi Igarashi, Niigata City, Niigata Pref. 950-2181
TEL/FAX: +81-25-262-7030

adobe reader

Download Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader is required to view Portable Document Format PDF files.

  • NGO・NPO団体情報
  • 集まれ!Green Friends 子供のための環境学習情報サイト
adobe readerダウンロード
PDF形式のファイルはadobe readerが必要です。