The Apsara National Authority (ANA) is working with public and private partner organisations to continue its plans to replant the western part of Trapeang Ses, and preserve the Angkor Archaeological Park World Heritage Site.

The campaign began in February.

On March 28, the ANA – along with the Siem Reap provincial branch of the General Department of Taxation (GDT) and the Siem Reap-Oddar Meanchey Chamber of Commerce – planted about 1,200 saplings.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal said the trees would not only provide year-round greenery and compliment the appearance of the Angkor park but also benefit mankind and the natural environment.

“These trees will be maintained and watered regularly by the ANA in order to preserve them for future generations,” he said.

Chao Maomony, head of the Siem Reap tax branch, said he was pleased that the ANA had given his department the opportunity to participate in the tree-planting activity.

“We are honoured that we were given the chance to contribute to something that will leave a lasting legacy,” he said.

ANA director-general Hang Peou said that maintaining the natural beauty of Angkor is of the utmost importance, both due to its cultural significance to the people of Cambodia and for its appeal as a tourist destination.

He added that the planting was just one small part of the ongoing work needed to preserve the Angkor area.

A number of residents of the Angkor park complex recently accepted relocation packages and moved to a new purpose-built village nearby. The ANA began to replant the vacated land, and called for public and private institutions to contribute to the work.

“We launched our campaign to re-green the vacant parts of the park, as the trees act as a buffer between the temples and the elements. They protect them from the effects of sunlight, rain and wind-blown dust,” explained Peou.