JUBA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said on Wednesday it will invest in renewable energy in order to protect the country's environment that has been degraded after five years of conflict.
Josephine Napwon, minister of environment and forestry, said the government plan to invest in clean energy, reforestation and smart agriculture to protect the forests and wildlife amid depletion linked to conflicts and climate change.
"With the low emission of greenhouse gases in South Sudan, air pollution is not severe at the moment," Napwon said during an occasion to commemoration of World Environment Day.
"However, we have to implement strategies that will maintain the current levels by investing in clean energy, conserve and protect our forests and embark on climate smart agriculture," Napwon said.
"Plastic pollution is a major crisis in South Sudan due to the lack of well-established waste management system," she added.
Napwon said authorities need to do more to curb illicit circulation of plastic bags following an earlier ban in 2017. She also urged investors to set up waste recycling plants.
She said that pollution in the northern oil fields has had severe impact on the health of the people living around the areas, and that a partnership with the ministry of petroleum will ensure that companies implement their obligation on clean environment.
Deng Deng Hoc, minister of education, said the government has set up tough measures to save wildlife endangered species from extinction due to poaching.
"For us in South Sudan we have seen our environment being degraded, some are attributed to the war because the war gives a license to whoever to do as they please."
He said the government has incorporated environment and peace awareness campaign within the national education curriculum to protect the environment.
Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said Juba could learn from the successful Chinese efforts to promote environment protection.
"Decades of rapid economic growth has made China the world's second largest economy but also brought us severe environmental challenges including air pollution, water, soil pollution and desertification."
"The Chinese government determined to reverse this trend years ago embarking on the journey toward high quality and sustainable development," said Hua.