Cambodia's official ceremonies in honour of National Tree Planting or Arbour Day on July 9 will be held at the Sambour Meas forest extension and restoration station in Snoeng commune’s Sambour Meas village of Battambang province’s Banan district.
The Kingdom plans to mark the day by planting 13,100 saplings on 10ha of land, while other smaller tree planting events have been organised in the capital and provinces as well, according to Suon Sovann, deputy director of the Forestry Administration (FA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Sovann said on July 6 that the Arbour Day celebrations in Battambang province are the nation’s largest planned and will be honoured by King Norodom Sihamoni’s attendance.
The saplings set to be planted include 4,000 thnong (Pterocarpus macrocarpus), 2,200 kranhoung (Dalbergia cochinchinensis), 1,500 chres (Albizia lebbeck), 600 teaks, 2,000 quinine, 2,660 eucalyptus and 140 chheuteal (Dipterocarpus alatus).
Sovann said that planting trees was not only being done to celebrate the occasion, but also to inspire people everywhere to plant trees and create forest cover to renew the environment and contribute to economic development, society, culture, tourism, research and education about protecting biodiversity.
Sovann also called for an end to illegal deforestation, hunting and trapping of animals in Cambodia’s protected natural areas and wildlife sanctuaries.
“We must protect forest resources for the children of this and the next generations and ask everyone to plant all kinds of trees along our national roads and canals and in our villages, rice fields and plantations and at our homes, hospitals, schools, pagodas and other public places in order to contribute to maintaining the natural balance,” he said.
Battambang deputy provincial governor Soeum Bunrith said on July 6 that the provincial administration has prepared a site for the ceremony to be held already.
He said that planting saplings is symbolic and meant to inspire people to love and protect the forest and the environment. More than 2,000 people are set to participate in the ceremony, he said.
Pen Linath, deputy governor of Kratie province, said the provincial administration had already planted 1,000 saplings to celebrate Arbour Day.
The event took place on July 5 in Prek Prasap district’s Russey Keo commune in order to encourage people from all walks of life to participate in planting saplings and protecting the natural resources of the forest.
“Since planting day first began in the Kingdom, we’ve planted more than 200,000 trees in Kratie province which have grown very well. We have been caring for them with expert help. Even then, some of them have died in places but our experts are there to replant them,” he said.
Siem Reap provincial agriculture department director Tea Kim Soth said on July 6 that his department had cooperated with Banteay Srei district administration to plant 5,500 chheuteal trees on July 5 on 5ha of land in the district’s Khun Ream commune, which is labelled by the Ministry of Environment as a degraded forest site that was once threatened by people who grabbed state forest land.
Tum Niro, director of the Stung Treng provincial agriculture department, said that in celebration of arbour day, the province has planted 1,080 trees.
The Stung Treng provincial administration has set up a location at the Phnom Chhngok community forest resort in Sam Ang commune’s Chhvaing village of Thala Barivat district for their celebrations.
He said the trees planted include 500 kranhoung, 180 beng (Afzelia xylocarpa), 300 kngok (Delonix regia) and 100 mango trees.
Separately, the FA also donated 5,000 saplings to monks, community organisations, schools and other people for planting in celebration of Arbour Day.