The Ministry of Environment and Mekong University jointly planted 700 saplings in the Chambok Community in Chambok commune’s Thmey village of Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district to inspire people’s love for the environment and natural resources.

Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said at the August 21 planting ceremony that the trees planted were “rare, high value” species.

He added that planting trees is more than just a happy memory for those involved, but was an excellent way to express solidarity to environmental causes.

“Planting trees provides a link between our lives and nature. It allows us to show our gratitude to the planet for providing us with life, biodiversity and a beautiful ecosystem,” he said.

Pheaktra added that the tree planting was an excellent example of the work the ministry was doing to protect natural resources and biodiversity and preserve ecological balance. It would reduce the effects of climate change and contribute to the economic development of local communities through “territorial connected tourism”.

The Chambok Nature Reserve Community has more than 600 members, covering a total area of 3,451ha.

It is one of the most prominent eco-tourism communities and its members provide services such as accommodation, cooking, sightseeing, tours and more. Local and international tourists frequent the area, providing an income to the community.

“In order to be more effective in conserving natural resources, it is important that legal and economic measures go hand in hand”, Pheaktra said, adding that the Chambok protected area community is a successful model that demonstrates the establishment of a local economy to strengthen conservation.