The Environment Ministry and Apsara Authority held events over the weekend to plant a total of 4,000 trees in Preah Vihear and Siem Reap provinces in a bid to replenish natural resources, especially luxury wood in the Kingdom.
Ministry officials and the community on Sunday planted 2,000 trees in the protected Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary while Apsara Authority, in cooperation with the private sector, on Saturday planted 2,000 luxury wood trees in the Angkor area.
Roth Vireak, an undersecretary of state at the Environment Ministry, said at Sunday’s event in Preah Vihear province that Cambodia currently has about 56 protected forest reserves and biodiversity conservation areas covering about 7.5 million hectares of land, equivalent to 41 percent of the Kingdom’s total land mass.
He noted that the government is working hard to find mechanisms to address challenges and protect natural resources, in collaboration with development partners, to improve the living conditions of the community and increase reforestation at protected areas.
“Increasing the forest cover through reforestation contributes to reducing climate change,” Mr Vireak said. “In addition, the community can use the timber products to meet the needs of their daily life or they can create and provide eco tourism services to support their livelihoods and better community development.”
Ear Sokha, provincial forestry cantonment director, yesterday said that different species of trees, including luxury ones, were planted to replenish areas which suffered deforestation and to increase the forest cover.
“The community can also make use of the timber products in the future, in a sustainable way and it can request the relevant institutions for advice on forest management,” he said.
Mr Sokha said that since early this year, about 6,000 to 7,000 trees have been planted in protected areas in the province.
Srey Thiy, a Prey Lang Community Network representative, yesterday said he supported the reforestation activities of rare species in Prey Lang, but voiced concern that areas where the trees were planted included a community farmland created early this year.
“I think it’s good to have reforestation to restore the forest cover that has suffered destruction in the past,” he said.
On Saturday, representatives of the Apsara Authority, Human Resource Association in Siem Reap province and 500 people from the private sector planted 2,000 trees of luxury wood or rare species in the Angkor area.
Chura Dina, the authority’s Department of Forestry, Cultural Landscapes and Environment deputy director, said during the event that the trees were being planted to strengthen conservation of natural resources in the Angkor site and allow rare species to grow again.
“All citizens living in the Angkor area please stop all illegal activities such as illegal forest land occupation, encroachment, destruction of rare species, and jointly protect natural resources in the Angkor area for the future,” he said.