Every year, the Apsara National Authority (ANA), a state body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park, gives away more than 100,000 tree saplings to encourage the growth of forest cover in Cambodia, especially in the Angkor area, and has requested members of the public who own land to participate in the planting programme.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on August 23 that every year ANA distributes tens of thousands of saplings to schools, pagodas, public and private institutions, and the general public for them to plant. In 2020, more than 100,000 saplings were distributed and this year another 100,000 saplings will be distributed.
“In addition to distributing saplings to the public, ANA has also planted tens of thousands of saplings in the Angkor area. The ANA team continues to plant saplings in the Angkor area and in front of Angkor Wat Temple,” he said.
“Our main goal is to distribute seedlings in the Angkor area and elsewhere to expand forest cover in Cambodia. We also want the public to participate in planting seedlings.”
According to Kosal, the government has made great strides in planting saplings, but the important factor is the participation of everybody.
“People who have land and want to plant saplings can inform us. They can submit an application form to ANA so that we can make sure that saplings given to them are planted,” he said.
He said ANA distributed 3,381 saplings comprising many tree species to the public last week. An additional 1,000 saplings were distributed to a pagoda in Srei Snam district.
According to ANA, several people had already received the saplings, including Chea Vibot, a resident of Siem Reap province who received 130 saplings, Sin Sovann Vicheka who received 150 saplings, and Im Phan Molyvann, a resident of Phnom Penh who received 200 samplings to plant on his land in Tbeng commune in Banteay Srei district.
ANA also received 1,311 saplings that will be planted in the compounds of Bay Kaek, Ta Prohm, and Beng Mealea temples, and other villages in the province.