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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man About Town: 20 Jul 2012

Man About Town: 20 Jul 2012

It’s a miracle, well sort of….. the new Café de la Paix opened on Sunday after being fitted out in record speed. Fitting out of the double-fronted shop house opposite ANZ Royal bank in the Psar Kandal district took just on a month. The venue is more than a café, it’s a community gathering centre and its also amazing how quickly the former café stalwarts appeared to grace the new establishment.

Word is that if patronage is sufficient, the café will become a permanent fixture.

Ta Prohm trees famous, thanks in large to that film, are famous. And now comes the hot news that Indian scientists have improved the lot of 131 ailing trees at the temple, noting that 36 of the trees needed immediate attention.

India News reports that experts from the Forest Research Institute, along with the Archaeological Survey of India, have been working on the Conservation and Restoration of Ta Prohm Temple (Cambodia) Project under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program of the external affairs ministry.

The team has been working at the temple since 2007 and reported that many of the sick trees are now in good shape.

NSK Harsh, head of Forest Pathology at the Forest Research told IANS, “The trees were found under stress at the site due to heavy tourist pressure, soil compaction, injuries to exposed roots and stems, cavities in trees and exposed buttresses and basal rotting. Besides, a few trees were dangerously leaning and causing the walls and other structures to collapse under their weight.”

The temple tree height ranges from 40 to 80 metres with huge trunks, while the girth exceeds more than three metres in some cases and buttresses span up to 13 metres at the base.

IANS said, “The buttresses and roots are spreading all over the structures and ground, making them magnificent visual objects.”

Siem Reap locals have also been trained so that they can continue the conservation work on their own post-2014 when the institute's contract ends.

In India, the institute conserved the famous Bodhi tree (pipal) in Bodhgaya, a direct descendant of the original tree under which the Buddha meditated.

Meanwhile, on Sunday July 8, King Norodom Sihamoni attended national Arbor Day celebrations at Kom Prom village, Khun Ream commune,in Banteay Srei district, Siem Reap.

Kaliyann Thik reports that he asked more than 8, 000 participants to take care of the forest and to plant more trees to avoid future disasters.

The King said, “Cambodian forests have always been an essential feature in the pattern of life for people, and continue to be of fundamental environmental, social and economic importance in national development.

“We the people should plant more trees on the empty land. The more we plant, the more we can support our life and save our earth.”

Chan Saron, Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, said that 20,000 ebony trees will be planted on a 22 hectare swathe of land under the theme, ‘One Tourist, One Tree.’

He said, “In order to decrease the temperature of the earth we have to plant more trees, and we should know the value of the forest resource and the concept of sustainable forests.”



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