Diplomats from 29 countries and roughly 200 young people from 51 countries – including Cambodia – attended the ceremonial planting of 53 trees in front of Angkor Wat Temple to show solidarity between the youths of Asia and Europe on November 18.

Hun Many, National Assembly Member from Kampong Speu and head of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), presided over the “ceremonial planting of trees in solidarity for Asian and European youths,” in the presence of Minister of Environment Say Sam Al – who is the deputy head of the UYFC – and Siem Reap provincial governor Tea Seiha.

The planting of the 53 trees was organized by two institutions – the ASEAN secretariat and the European Union – who, in addition to 51 countries from the two continents, are members of the 13th Asia-Europe summit (ASEM13) that Cambodia is set to virtually host from November 25-26.

The UYFC Facebook page said that the tree planting ceremony was initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the inter-ministerial working groups in collaboration with the Asia-Europe Foundation and with the support of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Apsara National Authority and the UYFC.

The Facebook page for the event stated that the purpose of it was to show solidarity between the youths of countries in Asia and Europe and to show how much the youth leaders of each country cared about the protection of the natural world and addressing the problem of climate change.

“[This ceremony] is a contribution to sustainable development through the planting of 53 mixed species of trees at this cultural and historical world heritage site,” according to the Facebook page.

The ceremony is part of the 4th Asia-Europe Foundation Young Leaders Summit. The meeting is one of the six accompanying forums of the ASEM13.