The management team of the Tumring REDD+ Project, a collaborative endeavour of Korea and Cambodia, recently unveiled their bold strategy for promoting climate resilience, restoring biodiversity, and fostering alternative livelihoods.

Their plan centres on the construction of a large-scale plant nursery, spanning 50 metres by 50 metres, with the capacity to nurture a staggering 1 million seedlings annually.

This eco-initiative will take root in the O’Dai Chrey Forest Extension and Rehabilitation Station, situated within the Tumring REDD+ project area in Kampong Thom province.

With the station newly established in 2023, this burgeoning hub of conservation efforts spans an impressive 350 hectares.

On June 4, Tep Nhata, deputy chief of the station and chief inspector of the North Tonle Sap inspectorate, stated: “The seedlings cultivated from this nursery will be strategically replanted on previously deforested land, essentially rehabilitating the region’s forests”.

Nhata went on to explain that the seedlings from this nursery will be made available to communities across Cambodia that are in need.

“The funding for the plant nursery at this station comes from the Tumring REDD+ Project. As more funds become available, we plan to establish more nurseries,” he added.

He confirmed that as of July 4, the nursery is nearing completion and will be operational in roughly two months’ time. Though the timing is not perfect for this year’s rainy season, the local seedlings that will call this nursery home are expected to be ready for planting next year.

Explaining the choice of location for the station, Nhata said that the O’Dai Chrey Forest Extension and Rehabilitation Station was intentionally established in a degraded forest area that had been cleared. He mentioned that the state seized the deforested land and preserved it as state property.

“Our approach to reforestation involves the provincial authorities, funding from the reforestation project, and the private sector. This multi-faceted approach aligns with the Royal Government’s intent to involve environmentally conscious private entities in forest rehabilitation,” stated Nhata.

“Our team is dedicated to forest rehabilitation to compensate for lost land areas. Participation in reforestation, besides being in accordance with forest law, also contributes significantly to climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation,” he added.

According to research on plant budding management, strong nursery techniques are best applied within the plant nursery. Economically speaking, forest plantations tend to receive minimal fertiliser preparation and maintenance.

Nhata emphasised that most nurseries supply seedlings for specific programmes. Therefore, the seedlings developed must align with the grower’s intentions and be the right age, especially at the onset of the rainy season.