The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Kampot Provincial Administration, Fisheries Administration and the British Chevening Alumni Association of Cambodia (BCAAC) – with the support of the British embassy in Phnom Penh and Prudential (Cambodia) Life Insurance Plc – on April 30 planted 1,000 mangrove trees in the Prek Tnoat Fishing Community and commune in Kampot province’s Bokor town.

Ministry secretary of state Neth Pheaktra said the planting demonstrated how seriously it was taking its environmental responsibilities. It was especially focused on climate change and the protection and preservation of marine ecosystems and mangroves, which also play an important role in protecting coastal residents from storms. Mangrove trees contributed to the richness of the regions biodiversity, he added.

He called on the public – especially those living in protected areas – to participate in the protection and conservation of the mangroves.

Pheaktra said the conservation of mangroves and related ecosystems has been identified as a natural adaptation strategy and important measure to mitigate the effects of climate change. Mangroves are a buffer zone between land and sea, counteracting the serious problem of coastal erosion and the threat of rising sea levels. Mangrove forests also help control the inflow of seawater into natural soils.

“Mangrove forests are a strategic corridor connecting ecosystems from the mainland, coasts and sea, and also a barrier against natural disasters and climate change. They also contribute to national economic development and reduce poverty,” he said.

“Mangroves play an important role as a source of conservation, habitat and breeding ground for many species of fish. They are a rich part of our marine resources and need to be protected, conserved and rehabilitated. They not only help prevent landslides, but also act as a catalyst in bringing land from the sea back to the mainland,” he said.

“Mangroves provide natural adaptation to the effects of climate change, as well as contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.

BCAAC president York Sothy Rith said its participation in the planting was to contribute to the promotion and conservation of mangrove trees of local communities, raise awareness of the benefits of the forests, and learn about current conservation efforts. It was also a positive way for the Chevening alumni to build their own relationships and engage in social work that made a genuine difference.

British ambassador Tina Redshaw said she was excited to attend the mangrove planting ceremony as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Initiative.

She said the planting coincided with Britain celebrating the 96th birthday and 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, the platinum jubilee.

Ly Salin, senior human resources manager of Prudential (Cambodia) Life Insurance, said the main goal of the company was to help everyone get the best out of life.

Prudential’s environmental, social and governance agenda supports this goal through a number of initiatives, including the mangrove planting. This was one of the many ways it hoped to reduce its environmental impact.

“We hope that this event will raise awareness among all the participants and that they will continue to establish this habit with their friends and family after today’s event,” he said.