The Ministry of Environment and partner organisations celebrated International Biodiversity Day to promote more effective management and conservation of biodiversity and as an opportunity for the public to better understand the value of biodiversity and ecosystems.

International Biodiversity Day is celebrated every year on May 22 under different themes, and for the ninth time this year it has been postponed to July 12 in Siem Reap under the theme “building a shared future for all life”.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra told The Post that to celebrate the day with countries at the regional and global levels and as a signatory to the convention establishing it, the ministry organised the event with about 1,000 participants.

He added that this year, there would be a tree planting programme at the Sok An Phnom Kulen Orchid Research and Conservation Centre, as well as putting slogans in public places in target provinces and producing and disseminating short video clips for live broadcast on social media networks and on television as well.

Pheaktra said that for the occasion, Minister of Environment Say Samal also highlighted the importance of national parks, biodiversity and water resources.

“We have set up the Sok An Phnom Kulen Research and Conservation Centre, which covers an area of more than 2,000 ha, for the protection and conservation of the kesor or orchid flower, and for the creation of a seed bank for rare plants,” he said.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Cambodia) country director Seng Teak said that this was an important event to inspire the protection of natural resources and especially biodiversity in Cambodia to make conservation a reality for present and future generations.

Teak added that in order to participate in the event, many activities had been organised under the joint efforts of the ministry, local authorities and relevant institutions to promote biodiversity conservation through the Zero Snaring Campaign, which inspires the movement to participate in wildlife protection and crime reduction.

At the same time, he urged the public as well as relevant institutions to work together to conserve natural resources for Cambodia and the planet as well as meet the current challenges of climate change affecting natural resources.

“I see that the people’s attitudes have changed because the younger generation, especially the youth, are actively involved in the conservation of natural resources. Conservation is no longer the obligation of just one institution, it is necessary to have the participation of all of the relevant sections, especially the people living around the natural resource areas.

“Challenges remain due to land grabbing, snaring, poaching and fishing in some protected areas, especially climate change currently as well as changes in the flow of water along the Mekong River which is adding more challenges for protecting and conserving natural resources, which requires that everyone do their part,” he said.