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Centuries-old trees to be preserved

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The centuries-old trees included Trach, Cheu Teal, Koki and Spong. Mondulkiri Environment Department

Centuries-old trees to be preserved

After the discovery of about 100 large, centuries-old trees in Keo Seima wildlife sanctuary in Mondulkiri province, Ministry of Environment officials and rangers have set up protection and conservation measures to protect.

Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary head Prum Vibol Ratanak told The Post on March 22 that in the sanctuary there were many big trees aged hundreds of years. They were being protected by rangers and his team. Those trees included Trach, Cheu Teal, Koki and Spong. Wildlife was also looked after in the conservation area.

The discovery of the trees began in 2000 with more trees being discovered over the years. Ratanak believed that there were many such trees in the area.

“We patrol the area every day. The trees are in the old forest, and that area is not a public area but a conservation area. The law states that people who do not have permission are not allowed to enter,” he said.

According to Ratanak, one of the trees that was posted on Facebook was a Spong tree. He could not estimate for sure how old it was, but it was over a hundred years old. Its height was probably not less than 40 meters, but its diameter couldn’t be estimated.

He said that currently, large-scale timber transportation offences were non-existent, but there could be some small crimes that citizens carried out on motorcycles, but officials try to prevent and always cracked down on offenders. Most crimes were committed by indigenous people, because they lived near the forest. His team has done a lot to prevent crimes by working with the community.

“There are some crimes, but we try to prevent them as much as possible,” he said.

Environment ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra could not be reached for comment.

Keo Socheat, director of Sansom Mlup Prey, said his organisation has collaborated on environmental work with the ministry, especially in Mondulkiri and Ratanakkiri provinces.

He said that some of the trees have been illegally cut down and used. Therefore, the number of remaining trees was not a lot.

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