Over 40,000 trees of varying species were planted on Wednesday on 56ha in the Stung Thmey protected area in Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in Pursat province. The planting is for reforestation.
Participants included environment officials, representative from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Swedish embassy, the Centre for People and Forests, local authorities, students, teachers and citizens.
Ministry of Environment undersecretary of state Rath Virak said the community participation showed a love for natural resources, including the forest and wildlife.
“This area is rainforest and attracts all types of wild animals to live. If we protect the forest and those wild animals, it will help community development,” he said.
He said the environment ministry will also help develop the area for natural tourism.
Khieu Borin, director-general of the environment ministry’s Local Community General Department, said the Stung Thmey area will grow new plants and encourage the community to protect and conserve natural resources.
“Tree plantation is to conserve natural resources, especially mixed biodiversities for the next generation. The forest in this area cannot provide direct benefits for them, but it can conserve biodiversities, maintain water and attract rain if we can protect it,” he said.
The ministry plan to grow acacias in a particular part of this area. The tree is in high demand and can provide benefits for five to six years.
The ministry will also offer residents roosters, cows, goats and pigs to increase their incomes, Borin said.
According to the environment ministry, the Stung Thmey protected area was established in 2010 on 712ha and is home to 110 families.
The 40,000 new trees are Kranhoung (rosewood), Thnong, Beng, Cheuteal and Korki.
The Local Community general department received the funds to plant them from UNDP and the Centre for People and Forests.