On a four-hectare patch of Trapaing Thma village, a transformative act is in progress. The Siem Reap provincial administration, in a cooperative effort with the provincial department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, has planted 2,500 saplings, including chheuteal and koki trees.

Speaking at the planting ceremony, Ean Khun, chairman of the provincial council, underscored the intrinsic value of forests.

"Forests represent precious natural wealth and are vital for both human and animal lives," he said.

Khun emphasised the urgent need for the rational management and utilisation of natural resources to uphold environmental equilibrium.

The chairman took a stand against illegal logging and forest land clearing, highlighting them as grave offences against the natural environment.

"These businesses commit a serious offence and harm the natural environment," the provincial department of information quoted him.

"Therefore, we must unite to protect and care for the forests sustainably and responsibly, as we hold the fate of our nation's future for this generation and the next.”

He continued, “We have to restore and re-plant tree saplings throughout to bring about balance in our Siem Reap province, in terms of the environment, nature, and the splendour of greenery”.

Over the first six months of the year, 62 forest communities spanning 34,401 hectares emerged in the province, reported the provincial department of information.

These communities nurtured tree varieties across seven forest development and restoration stations covering 3,767 hectares and 17 plant nurseries in towns and districts.

A total of seven forest offences were successfully tackled, with four resulting in court referrals.