The biggest environmental issue on the minds of the country's children is
deforestation, if the pictures drawn by schoolchildren in Kampong Thom are any
The Cambodian NGO Mlup Baitong (Green Shadow) asked about
1,050 students from six secondary and high schools in the province to draw
pictures showing their own ideas about the environment.
More than 80 per
cent of the students depicted images of deforestation.
16, a student from Norodom Ranariddh Sror Yov secondary school, drew a picture
of loaded logging trucks, tree stumps and a bare hillside. In the background
some big trees remained, but according to Sothivuth these were simply being left
to log later.
He was inspired by the view from his house.
to see many trucks carrying big logs and also I used to see the cutting on
He said his picture focused on illegal logging and
destroying the environment. He hoped his picture would get adults, especially
loggers, to think about destroying nature.
"I strongly hope that my
picture will attract them [loggers] to stop their activities when they see it at
Sothivuth explained that the trees with broken branches
in his picture had suffered in strong winds and had also been hit by other trees
that had been felled.
Sery Sokhany, who studies in grade 8 at Hun Sen
Balang high school, said the environment was very important for life. He added
that when the forest was destroyed it would cause drought, flood, storms and
Heng Barom, Acting Director of Hun Sen Balang high
school, was very grateful for the students' ideas about the impact of the
environment on society.
"If we educate them they gain a maximum of about
70 per cent, but if it is a social issue, they learn a lot more. The students
plant, but bad people cut - this is bad in the view of the children," he
Barom added that the pictures would give ideas to older people
about protecting the environment.
The children's pictures will now be put
on show in schools, pagodas, markets, restaurants, hotels and guest houses
around Kampong Thom town.
Organizers said Kampong Thom was chosen because
of the heavy logging in the area.
The pictures would be judged and the
winning painter would receive a tee-shirt and paints. All pictures had to be
from students' own ideas and not from books