Stung Treng provincial governor Svay Sam Eang on July 9 led officials and youth groups to plant palm seeds along the Cambodia-Laos border as part of efforts to preserve territorial integrity and benefit future generations by teaching them about their national identity.

“The palm tree is a plant that has provided many benefits to the Cambodian people since ancient times. It is also a symbol representing the soul of the Cambodian people and how they have distinguished their territory from ancient times until the present,” he said.

Provincial Department of Information director Ouk Theavy told The Post that since 2016, more than 200,000 palm seeds had been planted, with this planting, the sixth, using 30,000 seeds.

He said Stung Treng does not have as many palm trees as Takeo and Kampong Speu provinces, but after many border posts had been placed along the border, provincial authorities had initiated planting operations.

“Since we began in 2016, the seedlings have grown to about 40 per cent of their eventually full height. Some seeds have grown very well. Generally it takes seven to 10 years to establish a productive tree,” he said.

He said the province had a programme to inspire and organise a day of tree planting every year. By planting saplings in natural areas, they would regenerate the beauty of several decaying areas.

According to Theavy, more than 250km of the province borders Laos. Provincial authorities had planted about 100km of them.

Theavy said 11,500 seeds were planted in 2016 and another 10,000 in 2017. This jumped to 25,000 seeds in 2018 and then 30,000 in 2019. The next dropped to 10,000 seeds. With this year’s 30,000, the total is brought to 206,500.

The sixth planting took place between border posts 042 and 049, a length of 10km.