Deputy provincial governor of Siem Reap Neak Neron encouraged the public to respect elephants and he raised the possibility of experts establishing a breeding programme for them, as well as promoting the love of forests and nature as a whole, in a recent speech.

He was speaking at a tree planting ceremony with 1,400 trees planted, which came along with the release of 4,300 fish on July 15 in O Koun Toeng village and commune in Siem Reap province’s Varin district.

The tree planting event was held to mark the 14th anniversary of the establishment of Siem Reap branch of Cambodia Youth Movement 157.

“I encourage protecting all elephants here because currently our country's elephants are nearly extinct. If possible, we should breed more of them. In the past our country had many elephants, but now we have fewer than in Thailand and our other neighbouring countries,” he said.

He also encouraged people to plant trees to counter deforestation as well as to show the importance of natural resources protection to the next generation.

“Trees are very important as they help stabilize the environment from the effects of climate change through climate regulation and reduce the impacts of climate change from drought, floods and storms,” he said.