In the 17-year period from 2004 to 2021, the Apsara National Authority (ANA) – a body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeology Park – planted more than two million trees in the Angkor area in order to enhance environmental beauty and attract more domestic and international tourists to the historic world heritage site.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on September 19 that of the more than two million trees planted, some were luxury seedlings such as Kranhoung (Dalbergia cochinchinensis), Beng (Afzelia xylocarpa) and Thnong (Pterocarpus macrocarpus), among others, and only a small percentage of them had died early on.
He said a relatively low number of trees had died because the Angkor area has sufficient water resources and they were planted each rainy season in areas that were judged suitable for them to flourish.
He added that the planting of the trees was partly in order to replace dead ones which had been removed to guarantee the safety of tourists and improve the appearance of the park.
“We planted these trees to sustain the forest in the Angkor resort area, and the removal of some trees is necessary to save lives and safeguard public and private property because if anything occurs they will blame the ANA for not noticing the problem and taking care of it beforehand,” he said.
Kosal noted that the Angkor Archaeological Park was recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and was also designated as an outstanding cultural achievement for all humankind. He said the natural environment and forest was an important part of the area’s appeal in addition to the temples and monuments.
Yith Chandaroth, deputy director-general in charge of forest management, landscape, culture and environment at the ANA, said the body had paid more attention to environmental work in recent years including increased care and attention paid to the trees in the park.
He said the ANA had established 10 plant nurseries and each year they grew more than 200,000 saplings, of which the ANA plants more than 20,000 saplings on land in the Angkor resort area and then distributes another 100,000 saplings for free to communities throughout Cambodia for planting.