Sipar, committed for the environment

biblio bateau sipar

The preservation of our environment is at the heart of global concerns and in Cambodia as elsewhere, the effects of climate change are being felt. Particularly vulnerable, Cambodia alternates between droughts and floods. This year, the rainy season started earlier than expected and of high intensity, which does not prevent the soils of some regions from running out of water. The agricultural sector, which employs half of Cambodia's population, is particularly affected. For several years, the Cambodian government has been investing in climate-related issues and their impact in economic terms. The protection of our environment is an issue for all, and Sipar is committed, in its internal organization but also in its programs.

"The environment and its preservation is part of education,"explains Jacqueline Kerguéno, member of the board of directors and in charge of supporting the publishing department in Cambodia. For several years now, Sipar Editions has been interested in the ecological issue and publishes books allowing children to know, understand their environment and the importance of preserving the natural resources that surround them. Through books but also through awareness sessions, Sipar participates in getting the message across. The environmental theme has grown in recent years within the tours of our bookmobiles, one of which has specialized in this subject. For example, librarians organize waste collection sessions in villages and raise awareness about reducing plastic waste.

At Sipar's headquarters in Phnom Penh, the team is also hunting plastic, a real scourge in Cambodia that proliferates in the streets as well as on the banks of the Mekong and the sea. A metal lunch box is offered to each employee to limit waste during lunch. Cardboard plates and glasses have replaced plastic at team meals and the Sipar bookstore is working to offer paper bags to people who come to buy books. Recently, the library tuk-tuk runs on gas, a less energy-consuming fuel and the old diesel bookmobiles will gradually be replaced by less polluting vehicles. "The coronavirus pandemic has also taught us how to work remotely", says Sothik Hok, Sipar's director in Cambodia. Out of concern for ecology but also for better management of funds, travel is limited where possible and better coordinated in order to reduce environmental and financial costs.

Informing and raising awareness are the key elements for everyone to act on a daily basis for the protection of the environment, a commitment that Sipar has been keeping for several years now.

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