“Our goal is to get people to protect the forest and re-plant rate trees,” said Mom Pengkry, a deputy director at the Forestry and Wildlife Training Centre (FWTC).
The FWTC is sponsored by international grant aid and run by the Cambodian government. It is known for its efforts in breeding rare trees and training both government and non-government organisations in methods of wildlife preservation.
The FWTC was inaugurated in 2002 in Phnom Penh Thmei. It’s become especially well-known over the past two years for its work with breeding special rare trees.
“Raising awareness of wild trees is important as they diminish because of illegal logging,” said Mom Pengkry.
He added that many are looking to buy wild trees as a business investment. As the seeds are cheap, the buyer can look forward to selling a fully-grown tree that’s been cultivated in about 20-year’s time at a high cost.
Although most trees are for sale, many have been donated to local communities and seeds have been planted along streets and pagodas in Phnom Penh.
Meng Ngoun, also a deputy director at the FWTC, said: “We want to achieve our reforestation goal by 2015. We also want to develop the economy by engaging in regional carbon emissions trading.”
According to the FWTC, there are nearly 2,000 people who have enrolled in a short course at the centre on breeding wild trees, forest preservation and laws on wildlife preservation.