APSARA National Authority (ANA) said that since last December, 22,963 saplings have been planted on the land formerly occupied by inhabitants who have now relocate to the newly formed development areas of Pak Snung and Run Ta Ek in Siem Reap province. It said 27,481 square meters of grass has also been planted on those areas.

ANA’s spokesperson, Long Kosal, said on June 11 that the re-greening efforts are an ongoing daily commitment for the management body.

“We will continue our efforts to regreen these areas,” he said, adding that ANA has yet to complete landscaping these extensive locations.

Kosal elaborated on the collaboration with relevant institutions, the private sector, and partner organisations for these reforestation initiatives. He appealed to private entities and partner groups to assist in re-greening the Angkor Archaeological Park, highlighting the potential of these endeavours to draw more domestic and international visitors.

He added that the trees being planted are native to Cambodia and grown by APSARA, while the grass is sourced externally. The management authority, in conjunction with its UNESCO partner, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC-Angkor), has started planting grass and trees in the areas neighbouring Angkor Wat.

On the morning of June 10, the ANA and ICC-Angkor, planted 400 square meters of grass and nearly 500 mixed saplings in Taksin village, Kork Chak commune, southwest of Angkor Wat. The planting ceremony was presided over by Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts.

Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (KATGA) president Khieu Thy told The Post on June 11 that the management authority had chosen to plant tree saplings and grass to make the site particularly beautiful.

Thy praised ANA’s introduction of more greenery to the culturally significant and popular destination, he stated: “National and international visitors will feel good when they visit the Angkor area”.